Ireland 462 (Stirling 107, O'Brien 79) beat Canada 174 (Gunasekera 66, van de Merwe 5 for 70) and 257 (Cheema 97) by an innings and 11 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Twenty three wickets fell and over 400 runs were scored on a manic day in Dublin as Ireland wrapped up victory by an innings and 11 runs over a mismatched but game Canada side on the second day of their Intercontinental Cup 2011-13 match. Offspinner Albert van der Merve was the bowling star for Ireland, picking up eight wickets, but it was Rizwan Cheema's blistering 97 that lit up the day's play amid the carnage.
Ireland had enforced the follow on after Canada had slumped to 194 from 114 for 2 in their first innings, and the visitors were in trouble from the start, with the top four batsmen back in the dressing room and the team still trailing by over 200 runs. That's when Cheema decided to take matters into his own hands and launched a stunning counterattack. van der Merwe was the first to feel his fury, as Cheema plundered 23 runs from one over. He smashed the first ball for six over long-on, straight drove the second for four, the third cleared the long-on boundary again while the fourth was slogged over deep-midwicket for a third six.
Left-arm spinner George Dockrell was Cheema's next victim as Cheema decided everything had to go. This time it was two fours and two sixes in four balls; the first hacked away past backward point, the second a huge hit over extra cover. Then, just to show that he was not all brute force, Cheema swept Dockrell fine for another four before resorting back to type and sending the ball over the rope at cow corner. He brought up his 50 from just 21 balls and just kept going, with Dockrell bearing the brunt as Cheema savaged him for three sixes and two fours from consecutive overs.
The good times couldn't last though and Cheema's extraordinary innings came to a close just three runs short of a hundred, when he got a thin edge down the legside off Phil Eaglestone. In all, Cheema hit 10 sixes and six fours and took just 45 balls for his 97.
Unfortunately for Canada, no one else made more than 34 in the second innings, and they were bowled out for 257, with Dockrell and van der Merve picking up three wickets apiece to wrap up the game with two full days remaining.
Ireland had begun the day on 435 for 7 and managed to extend that to 462 thanks to John Mooney's 40. Canada got off to a steady start, with Nitish Kumar and Ruvindu Gunasekera adding 87 for the second wicket, but van der Merwe took three quick wickets, dismissing Kumar for 27, Zeeshand Siddiqi for 14 Gunasekera for a well-made 66 to start the slide. Cheema did make a quickfire 28, studded with two fours and three sixes, a hint of what was to come, and Hamza Tariq chipped in with 33, but Canada were unable to cope with van der Merve, who finished with figures of 5 for 70 in the first innings and 8 for 131 in the match.