Ireland v Namibia, Intercontinental Cup, Stormont, 2nd day September 7, 2011

Ireland batsmen scrap to first-innings lead

ESPNcricinfo staff

Namibia 244 and 58 for 1 (Viljoen 48* Ackermann 7*) lead Ireland 298 (White 123*, Dockrell 53, Viljoen 5-87) by four runs with nine wickets remaining
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Andrew White's unbeaten century led a fighting Ireland to a first-innings lead on the second day against Namibia at Stormont.

The bowlers had dominated the first day with 14 wickets falling and Namibia the happier of the sides but White found the right moment to produce his fifth first-class century. Things didn't start well for the home side as Kevin O'Brien added just six more to his overnight total before falling. O'Brien is captaining the weakened Ireland side but the responsibilities of leadership clearly didn't inhibit his aggressive style as he struck four fours and a six in his 38-ball stay.

At 85 for 5 Ireland were in something nearing crisis when John Mooney joined White. Mooney was typically combative and the pair began laying the foundations for recovery. They added 69 with Mooney making 44 from 58 balls before driving crisply towards extra cover, where Gerhard Erasmus pulled off an excellent diving catch.

When Stuart Poynter was bowled second ball it looked like the recovery was stalling but George Dockrell rode to the rescue. In his short Ireland career he has repeatedly impressed with the ball - collecting his first five-wicket haul on the first day - but this was the first time he'd shown talent with the bat.

Dockrell dug in to support White and made his first first-class half century. His 53 came from 96 balls with eight fours and he helped add 100 runs for the eighth wicket with White that took Ireland into the lead. Eventually he fell sweeping but his job was done. White, at the other end, found enough support to register his century and finished unbeaten on 123, having faced 213 balls.

In a batting line-up missing a clutch of first-choice players due to county commitments, his innings was vital. It looked as though Ireland would follow their fighting batting with quick wickets when Graeme McCarter jagged one back to a shotless Pikki ya France but Christ Viljoen and Stephanus Ackermann held fort in contrasting styles.

Ackermann shut up shop - making 7 from 61 painstaking deliveries - while Viljoen blazed merrily. He made 48 from 49 balls to bring Namibia back ahead before the day was out.