Dockrell stars on rainy first day
Stumps Ireland 88 for 2 (O'Brien 38*, Cusack 36*, Loots 1-18) trail Netherlands 188 (Diepeveen 41, Dockrell 4-36, van der Merwe 3-25) by 100 runs
Twelve wickets tumbled on a rainy first day of the Intercontinental Cup clash between Ireland and Netherlands in Dublin, the hosts closing the day 100 runs in arrears at 88 for 2. George Dockrell starred with the ball on his first-class debut after Netherlands captain Peter Borren opted to bat first, picking up 4 for 36 as the visitors were bowled out for 188.
Dockrell was one of four Ireland players to make their first-class debuts in this game and another debutant, seamer Allan Eastwood, was the first to break through for Ireland. He had Eric Szwarczynski caught by captain Trent Johnston in the seventh over, before Johnston himself struck to extract Wilfred Diepeveen for an aggressive 41 and Nick Statham for a far more circumspect 18-ball duck as Netherlands slipped to 84 for 4 immediately after lunch.
Ireland's slow bowlers then took centre stage, Dockrell combining well with yet another first-class debutant, offspinner Albert van der Merwe, to pick up the remaining seven Dutch wickets. Dockrell had started by removing opener Tom de Grooth for a 92-ball 29, and followed up with the wickets of Wesley Barresi, Netherlands first-class debutant Tom Heggelman and, in the same over, No. 11 Mohammad Kashif, all lbw.
Netherlands struck back quickly as Paul Stirling was rushed in a cut shot and edged to second slip and Maurits Jonkman trapped James Hall on the crease to reduce the hosts to 17 for 2. But Kevin O'Brien and Alex Cusack weathered the second rainbreak of the day and gained in confidence the longer they were at the crease, adding an unbeaten 71 for the third wicket to take Ireland to a relatively safe position at stumps.