Ireland’s cricketers are on the verge of completing a victory in their Intercontinental Cup game with Namibia in Belfast. Ireland bowled the visitors out for 226 on Day Two at Stormont Cricket ground with George Dockrell picking up three 2nd innings wickets.
On Day One of this three day game, Namibia made a competitive 244 total mainly thanks to a fine half century by van der Westhuizen. 19 year old left arm spinner George Dockrell was the pick of the Ireland bowlers taking a five wicket haul. In reply Ireland were in a spot of bother having lost four early wickets. At 81-5, Andrew White steadied the ship with a superb century and he was ably supported by Kevin O’Brien, John Mooney and then Dockrell. Ireland eventually bowled out for just under 300, with a first innings lead of 66.
The visitors seemed to be heading to posting a big total for Ireland to chase down but a clutch of wickets meant they were bowled out for 226, giving Ireland a target of 173. A fluent 80 from Viljoen seemed to be putting Namibia in control in Belfast but Dockrell and O’Brien pegged them back with a couple of wickets each and two run outs.
Such a target can be tricky at times and with some of Ireland’s best batsmen unavailable due to county commitments, Namibia might have felt they had a chance of victory but a blistering half century from Paul Stirling has put Ireland on the verge of victory and they should wrap up the win early on Friday morning. Alex Cusack made 40 before Namibia took a few wickets to give the hosts a fright but Ireland only need another 38 runs to win.
By Ryan Bailey, @ryanbaileysport