Ireland take lead after Johnston's five
Ireland 190 for 4 (O'Brien 57) lead Canada 120 (Johnston 5-23) by 70 runs
A middle-order collapse, during which Canada lost four wickets for two runs, allowed Ireland to dismiss the hosts cheaply and take a sizeable first-innings lead on the opening day of their Intercontinental Cup match in Toronto. Trent Johnston's third five-wicket haul was instrumental in limiting Canada to 120, after which Kevin O'Brien's half-century put Ireland ahead by 70 at stumps.
Canada's decision to bat backfired immediately as both their openers, Ruvindu Gunasekera and Nitish Kumar, were dismissed for 1 each by fast bowler Allan Eastwood. Zubin Surkari and Ashish Bagai began to stage a recovery by adding 53 for the third wicket, but their efforts were unravelled by the collapse, by the end of which Canada were 60 for 6. Johnston took three of those wickets and later dismissed Khurram Chohan and Abzal Dean to finish with 5 for 23. Ireland's wicketkeeper Rory McCann played an important part in the performance as well, catching five Canada batsmen.
Ireland's innings had a pacy start because of Paul Stirling, who scored 45 off 42 balls. The first-wicket partnership was worth 42, out of which McCann contributed only 4 before he was caught off Chohan. Stirling went shortly after, and Ireland were 58 for 2, but the middle-order batsmen weighed in with useful contributions to cruise past Canada's total. Andre Botha made 39, O'Brien struck 11 fours in his 57, and Andrew White remained unbeaten on 30 as Ireland ended the day on 190 for 4.