Ireland news May 31, 2012

Balbirnie brings Ireland A home

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ireland A 230 and 414 for 5 (Balbirnie 148*, Thompson 93) beat Gloucestershire 2nd XI 494 for 5 dec and 146 for 8 dec by five wickets

Ireland A produced a miraculous fightback to beat Gloucestershire 2nd XI at Bath. They chased 411 to win in 92 overs on the final day.

With the wicket taking an increasing amount of spin and Ireland A 98 for 3, any chance of victory looked remote. But Andrew Balbirnie played a match-winning innings, striking 19 fours in a 201-ball knock. He added 178 for the fourth wicket with Stuart Thompson, who hit 14 boundaries of his own for a 122-ball 93 but he was dismissed with135 still required to win.

John Anderson - who made a first-innings 72 - arrived at the crease and he and Balbirnie added a further 79 but it was left to Balbirnie to take his side to the target.

"We knew it was a flat pitch and if you got in, then you could score quickly," Balbirnie said. "I had a bit of luck early on but as the innings progressed I got more confident and started to hit the ball cleanly. We knew we had to build partnerships and that was the key to the win. Stuart Thompson played superbly, and that was a great knock from John Anderson when things could have gone wrong."

Balbirnie had already scored a century against Gloucestershire 2nd XI, having made 100 not out at Bristol last season playing for Middlesex second XI. He also played in the World Cricket League in the Netherlands in 2010.

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  • Anupam on June 3, 2012, 18:32 GMT

    @reversedoosra_k true buddy but the way namibia progresses is fabulous. dutch team is also faboulas but as you said about T20. dutch team has the potential but the only thing is required is ICC support and TEAm support within a country.

  • Karandeep on June 2, 2012, 15:46 GMT

    @Mooney - Agree with you if they play more matches they will became better. I can say that, the 2012 Ireland side can beat 2007 Ireland by 120 runs in ODis this the margin of development of Irish cricket @AKS286 - Test cricket looks only realastic of Ireland and Afghans only. The format Dutch cricketers have said that T20 is only way to keep Dutch cricket alive and I agree with them.

  • Dummy4 on June 1, 2012, 7:18 GMT

    Ireland are the real talent AKS286, we are producing good quality players without proper help from the ICC. Balbirnie and Thompson both born in Ireland, same with Stirling and Dockrell among many others. Now if the ICC and ECB could help Ireland not hinder Ireland it would be amazing. @Thomas Cherian?, no chance of it! grow your own :)

  • Anupam on June 1, 2012, 5:15 GMT

    irish, dutch, namibia are the next talent these countries must replace WI in the test format.

  • Sagir on May 31, 2012, 21:57 GMT

    i wish for the sake of Irish cricket that the ICC recognises their potential soon and grants them a chance to play more competitive matches against the big boys and also outlines a path for them to achieve Test status.. GO Ireland !!!!

  • Dummy4 on May 31, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    So how do we get Andrew to play for england...hmmmm

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