Ger Siggins (CricketEurope)
Numbers Racket No.6: Inter-Continental Cup special
The Inter-Continental Cup will soon be no more, at least as far as Ireland is concerned. It has been a fantastically successful competition for the national side, with four of the six stagings ending with the trophy jetting back to Cricket Ireland HQ.
With Test cricket beckoning, Ireland have just two games left, and William Porterfield’s side will be keen to claim the final crown, albeit needing two wins and an Afghan slip-up to do so.
The last home game in the tournament takes place next week, against Netherlands, with the final game of all against Scotland set for 29 November to 2 December in UAE.
With question marks over the event’s future, a few Irish players have a chance over those couple of games to set new milestones and landmarks in their careers.
For batsmen, Steve Tikolo’s 1,918 runs is unassailable, with Porterfield the current leading batsman on 1,518. The captain needs 35 to pass top Irish bat Andy White on 1,552. Ed Joyce and Paul Stirling should also notch up their 1,000th run in competition shortly.
LEADING IRISH RUN-SCORERS IN I-CUP (those selected for next week in bold)
MOST CENTURIES (tournament best: 7, Ryan ten Doeschate in 8 matches)
MOST FIFTIES (tournament best: 14, by Andrew White and Khurram Khan)
Joyce has a share in one tournament best, his two double centuries in the current series equalling the mark of ten Doeschate, Tikolo and Gerrie Snyman.
He is also in with a shout for the most runs in a series record, currently held by Mohammad Shahzad who scored 802 in seven matches in 2009-11.
Joyce has 648 in five games so far – having just overtaken Andre Botha’s Irish record of 643 – including four centuries – he made in eight games in 2007-09.
With the ball, Trent Johnston’s 91 wickets is well clear of anyone else in any team. The best currently active player is George Dockrell (65), but the Leinster Lightning man has been dropped for the Malahide fixture.
LEADING IRISH WICKET-TAKERS
As regards bowling performances, the best is still 9-74 by Ali Asad (UAE) and John Davison (Canada)’s 9-76. There were also three 8-fers, and nine 7-fers, including Regan West’s Irish best of 7-88.
Davison’s 17 wickets (9-76 and 8-61) is the best match figures, with the Irish best (and fifth best in all) being Albert van der Merwe’s 11-68 against Kenya in 2012.
Peter Connell and John Mooney also took ten in a match, with Dockrell bagging a 9-71 and 9-87.
Connell (15.74) and Trent Johnston (16.35) have the best bowling averages of any side, with John Mooney on that list in 7th place on 20.30.
The record for wickets in one series is held by Afghanistan’s Hamid Hassan who took 43 in 2009-11. The next best is Dockrell’s 39 in 2011-14. Connell (28 in 2007-09) and Johnston (26 in 2005-07) are also in the top ten.
The leading bowler in the current competition is Dockrell, who has 22. Although Niall O’Brien has an I-Cup record 58 dismissals, 12 of the catches were in the field.
Mohammed Shanzad has 46 dismissals, although some of his were also taken with the gloves off.
With O’Brien out with a shoulder injury, Gary Wilson will take over against the Dutch next week, nudging ahead by one appearance behind the stumps. He still has a way to go to match O’Brien’s record for catching there however.
IRISH WICKET-KEEPERS IN I-CUP
Mts Cts Sts TOTAL
14 O’Brien 41 5 46
14 Wilson 33 4 37
4 Poynter 10 2 12
2 Ogilby 8 0 8
1 Bray 4 0 4
1 McCann 9 0 9
1 McAllister 1 0 1
The overall record for catches in one game in the competition is held by Rory McCann, on his solitary appearance back in 2010 against Canada in Toronto, when he pouched nine.
Kevin O’Brien may go down in history as the man with most appearances in the I-Cup.
His 28 in unassailable in this competition, with only Andrew White 26, and Peter Borren, Sarel Burger and Trent Johnston 25 within shouting distance.
LEADING APPEARANCES FOR IRELAND IN I-CUP
SIMI SPY: A couple of weeks ago we detailed Simi Singh’s amazing run gathering. Since then, in Leinster league action for YMCA, he has made 44 and 106 – his sixth century of the season. That takes him to 1,702 runs so far, with still a month left in the summer.
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