Dockrell heroics in vain as Ireland beaten by Northern Districts
Thu, Oct 16, 2014 10:32 AM
George Dockrell took four wickets in a sparking bowling display but it wasn't enough to save Ireland from a three wicket loss against Northern Districts in the first match of the New Zealand leg of their ICC World Cup acclimatisation tour.
The left-arm spinner, who last week signed an extended deal with his county Somerset, was at his beguiling best as he took 4 for 17 on a spin friendly track in Hamilton.
Defending just 153, it looked as if would be a comprehensive defeat for the Irish as the hosts recovered from early wickets by Graeme McCarter (1-15) and Craig Young (1-31) to reach 99 for 2 chasing a very modest Irish total of 153.
However the dismissal of top scorer Joe Carter for 42 off the bowling of Peter Chase (1-32) saw the home side wobble as they closed in on victory.
Dockrell's four wicket haul included Daryl Mitchell (39) and Jono Hickey (29), both stumped by the impressive Stuart Poynter, who also claimed two catches.
Tim Seifert's unbeaten 17 saw his team over the line with 11.5 overs to spare.
A combination of illness and injury saw Ireland take to the field without William Porterfield, Gary Wilson and Stuart Thompson, and their make-shift top order was soon exposed.
Andrew Balbirnie (2) and Andrew Poynter (0) both went inside the first four overs, and despite an entertaining cameo from Niall O'Brien (21), Ireland were always struggling.
Stuart Poynter (4) and John Mooney (5) both fell victim to Tony Goodin (2-34) as the Irish slumped to 58 for 5.
Captain Kevin O'Brien top scored with 45 as he and Alex Cusack (20) added 53 for the 6th wicket, but there was to be no late order rally as Ireland were dismissed for 153 with almost 10 overs unused.
Dockrell's growing confidence with the bat saw him strike a breezy unbeaten 28 from just 31 balls, but it was too little, too late in a below par batting display by Ireland.
Ireland are back in action on Saturday when they take on a New Zealand XI, before their tour concludes next week with games against Canterbury and Otago.
At Seddon Park, Hamilton,
Ireland XI 153 all out (40.4 overs, K O'Brien 45, G Dockrell 28*, N O'Brien 21, A Cusack 20, J Boult 3-3, A Verma 2-18, T Goodin 2-34)
Northern Districts 157-7 (38.1 overs, J Carter 42, D Mitchell 39, J Hickey 29, G Dockrell 4-17)
Northern Districts beat Ireland XI by 3 wickets