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McCallan praises “different class” White

Mon, Aug 11, 2008 1:01 PM


Ireland captain Kyle McCallan has praised the effort of middle-order batsman Andrew White, who scored a brilliant century against Canada in the rain-affected ICC Intercontinental Cup match in Malahide.

White made an unbeaten 109, his second century in his 13th first-class match, and featured in a 154-run fifth-wicket partnership with Kevin O'Brien to take the home team, at one stage struggling at 142-4, through to 326-6 declared.

In response Canada slipped to 52-2 before recovering to 141-5 but with no play on the last day the first innings could not be completed and so both the teams picked up three points each.

"It's the best Whitey has played in a long time. The one-day game has made him into a bit of a fiddler and nudger, trying to create runs where there aren't any and his improvisation has been vital to us over the years," McCallan said.

"Here, he was able to play proper cricket and I thought he batted magnificently. That was the Andy White of old, back to before he went to Northamptonshire.

"I hope this is a big kick on for him, and he carries into all the ODIs coming up. He was a different class to anything (else) we've watched in this game," said McCallan.

Ireland will face Canada in an ODI at Clontarf on Tuesday before taking on Kenya in a three-match ODI series to be played on 24, 25 and 27 August at Stormont.

In Titwood, Scotland's ICC Intercontinental Cup match against Kenya was abandoned without a ball being bowled giving each team 10 points. This means Kenya has moved ahead of Ireland into third spot and it looks like it could be between Namibia, Kenya and Ireland to fight it out for the two final berths.

McCallan said the drawn match against Canada has given his team a new challenge. "It's all very disappointing. If we had four full days play, I think we would have won it okay.

"We never seem to win this competition without overcoming a few obstacles along the way, and this has given us a new challenge. We have to go to Africa now and get a result, either against Namibia or Kenya, or maybe both," said McCallan.

October will be crunch time for this competition with Ireland travelling to take on Kenya and Namibia in their own back yards. It has been an enthralling event so far and it looks like it will be a thrilling finish with the finals places still up for grabs right to the last group matches.

"Canada dug in really well, and it wasn't the easiest pitch to try and get quick wickets," said McCallan. "The weather conditions meant that there wasn't a great deal of pace and bounce, and although there was a bit of turn, players had plenty of time to adjust.

"It was always going to be a war of attrition, and unfortunately the weather didn't give us time to bowl them out. Andre (Botha) being injured didn't help our cause, but we've big games coming up, and I didn't want him to break down," he added.

Scotland, like Canada and the UAE, has finished its seven league matches and though it is currently occupying second place on 82 points, it is likely to be overtaken by Kenya and Ireland in October with each side having two matches remaining.



For Scotland, Neil McCallum was the leading run-getter with 343 runs from seven innings in six matches while Fraser Watts, with 261 runs, was the other leading scorer.



The bowling honours went to fast bowler Dewald Nel who took 19 wickets at 17.78. John Blain (18), Ross Lyons (14) and Craig Wright (10) were the other bowlers to reach double figures.





ICC Intercontinental Cup table (as of 11 August)



P W L D Pts

Namibia 5 5 0 0 82

Scotland 7 3 1 3 82

Kenya 5 3 1 1 76

Ireland 5 3 0 2 72

Netherlands 6 3 3 0 48

UAE 7 1 5 1 29

Canada 7 1 5 1 29

Bermuda 6 1 5 0 26



Key:

Six points for first innings lead

14 points for a win (so, maximum of 20 points per match)

10 points for an abandonment without a ball being bowled

Three points for a draw

Top two sides qualify for the final at a venue to be confirmed



Remaining fixtures:

16-19 Aug – Netherlands v Kenya, Amstelveen

3-6 Sep – Namibia v Bermuda, Windhoek

5-8 Oct – Namibia v Ireland, Windhoek

12-15 Oct – Kenya v Ireland, Kenya

TBC – Final



The ICC Intercontinental Cup has quickly grown in stature and profile since its inception four years ago and now the ICC's premier first-class tournament is an integral part of the Associate Members' cricket schedule.



Having previously been designed around a two-group, three-day format, the event has evolved into an eight-team, round-robin and truly global tournament featuring four-day cricket which gives those teams who do not play Test cricket the chance to experience the longer form of the game.



Scotland won the first ICC Intercontinental Cup in 2004, beating Canada in the final, while Ireland has been victorious in both events since then, beating Kenya in the 2005 decider and Canada in the 2006-07 event.



The final of the ICC Intercontinental Cup 2007-08 will take place in November 2008 at a venue yet to be confirmed.



For more information go to: www.icc-cricket.com



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