Match Centre

Squad

PLAYERROLE
J Anderson Batsman
A Balbirnie Batsman
PKD Chase Bowler
GH Dockrell Bowler
EC Joyce Batsman
J Mulder Bowler
TJ Murtagh Bowler
KJ O'Brien Allrounder
NJ O'Brien †Wicketkeeper
WTS Porterfield (c)Batsman
WB Rankin Bowler
Simi Singh Batsman
PR Stirling Allrounder
GC Wilson Batsman

For Ireland, that's the end of the "summer" season, with their next scheduled game against Scotland in the Inter-Continental Cup at the end of November. All of this will be covered live on ESPNCricinfo, so hopefully you will be able to join us then. Until then, thanks for following my ramblings today about the weather and grass (not) drying. This is Justin Smyth saying goodbye from a very soggy Stormont.

Cricket in September eh? As the Windies fly back over the Irish Sea they will have to hope that the bad weather gets left over here. Remember their tour of England goes on until the 29th September and they are back in action this Saturday, when they take on England in a t20 at Chester-le-street. Hopefully it will be a little warmer than it has been today.

1:30 pm: The rain arriving there in the lunch break as helped make up the Umpire's minds here. They have gone out there for the inspection and if the ground was bad before then it's even worse now. Unfortunately, there is no chance to get the game played today. It's a terrible shame although what can you do about the weather? The game is abandoned.

1.10 pm: Some more bad news I'm afraid, the dark clouds that were promised to be on the way have finally arrived. The covers are being put back out in the middle. This ground can't take any more rain on it. This could be the final nail in the coffin here. The rain is falling, I repeat the rain is falling. What a shame!

12.40 pm: Well we have some news now, officially there hasn't been much improvement so the Umpires are going to have another inspection at 1:30pm. Lunch has been brought forward to 1pm. Let's hope that it's something hot, because it's still very chilly out here today

12:30 pm: The Umpires headed into the middle, followed by a camera crew. It's the most action that we have seen today. The bowlers end and mid-wicket seem to be the worst of the ground. Lots of prodding at the ground, still looks muddy. We are waiting to find out what they have decided.

12:15 pm: No real change out there in the middle, the sun is still shining and no cricket is being played. Although all the spare time has been used up now and we started to lose overs from 11:15 AM. Although it's not going to matter if the ground won't dry. If anything, the wind here seems to be getting stronger, which means the forecast rain could be getting closer. It's Storm Aileen that to blame for all this isn't it? Although the last part of the summer has been quite rainy over here, so with the water table quite high it's going to take a while for the water to drain away. There isn't any work being done in the middle either, seems a bit resigned out there.

11.30:The Umpires stride out into the middle, go straight up to the bowler's end and then wander out to mid-wicket. Couple of jumps up and down. Then it's back to the ground staff for another little chat. There really only so much you can take of looking at grass drying before it starts driving you a little crazy.

According to the people in the middle, the ground has started to firm up a little. Guess that the Umpires are still a little worried about the players footing, no one is wanting to see the players get injured out there.

It looks like there are just a few areas of the ground that just don't seem to want to dry. It bright sunshine all around the ground. Its the muddy parts of the outfield, the bowlers ends, bowlers landing areas. There will be another inspection at 12:30pm. Lets hope for a miracle

10:45 am: More news! Not great news though. There are still a lot of soft patches on the outfield and they are simply going to need more time to dry. There is going to be another inspection at 11:30am. The good news is that in the past when we have a delayed start here at Stormont, once we get the go ahead, things get going very quickly. Hopefully today will be the same.

10:30 am The Umpires are starting their slow walk around the outfield, we have some of the ground staff out with the pitchforks on the bowlers run up at the City End. There is a lot of people out on the field at the minute although most of them are just standing and looking around. Some dark clouds have started to roll in from the West, although the strong breeze means that they are being blown through quickly. It's a waiting game again I guess. There are a lot of Kids in the ground today, so the Windies players are taking the opportunity to go over and sign a few autographs. The ground is starting to fill out quite nicely, so hopefully they will get to see some play.

10:15am: Well we are still 15 minutes away from that pitch inspection. The West Indies players have wandered out into the middle, must be feeling the cold a little as they are all wrapped up, bobble hats on and looking at the wicket. Think that someone should go out and tell them it wasn't much warmer in July or August either. Looks like the Ireland team has the heads up about the delayed start too, they have only just started to arrive at the ground. If you had to guess, I'd expect a 12pm start at the earliest. Which is good because according to the radar, the rain is coming at about 12:30.

9.40 am: and wouldn't you know it, as soon as I type it the news comes out that there is going to be a delayed start this morning. The outfield is very soft out there and so the Umpires are going to look again at 10:30am. There is a strong breeze blowing across the ground, so hopefully that will help to dry it out. Just no more rain please .

9:30 am :Good Morning and welcome to Stormont for coverage of the Turkish Airlines one-day challenge between Ireland and the West Indies. As we are almost in the middle of September, today has a very autumnal feel to it, it's scheduled to be an early start here this morning. Play is due to get underway at 10:15, although with rain about and a strong breeze expect there to be a few delays in store today. With the temperature today due to be a balmy 13c today, aren't we all glad that cricket is a summer sport? "Winter is coming" happens in real life too...

As this game is the first ODI since becoming a full member, Cricket Ireland have been heavily advertising the fact that the West Indies are coming to town. "Calypso Cricket" has been the Buzz word around town, with battles between these two teams firmly entrenched in Irish Cricket folklore. Tails of Sion Mills in 1969 and the more recent victory in the 2015 World Cup in Nelson abound. Will Stormont in 2017 be added to this list. Ireland's squad for this game include 8 of the team that won that World cup game. With a returning Boyd Rankin and the experienced Tim Murtagh also available, the real choice for outgoing coach John Bracewell will be around his spin options. Does he stick with leg-spinning Jacob Mulder, bring back left-arm George Dockrell or go for the conventional off-spin of Simi Singh? Also with newly appointed coach, Graham Ford waiting in the wings, today's game will give these players an opportunity to impress!

For the West Indies, the challenge is a little different, direct qualification for the 2019 World Cup is the goal. With 6 ODI's left for them before the cut-off point. A win today, followed by a 5-0 or 4-1 win over England, would mean that they would qualify and would send Sri Lanka off to the Qualifying tournament to be held in Zimbabwe next March. Perfect timing then to see a couple of `Old Faces' return to the fold, with Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor and Chris Gayle back. 2016 was the last time that Samuels and Taylor played an ODI for the Windies, with Chris Gayle not being involved since the 2015 World Cup. Yet with all three of them recently being involved in the CPL, will be interesting to see how they cope with coming back into the longer form of the game.

With the toss is due to be only a few minutes away, although with the amount of rain that has fallen over the past 24 hours, its looking like it might be a delayed start this morning. I will bring you news of that as soon as I get it!