Welcome to a (hopefully regular) round up of Irish performances down under this year.
Most of the information is taken from the mycricket website that covers Australian club cricket, but if Iím missing anyone (and if you have a link to a similar site to follow our lads in South Africa) please contact me on twitter (@dotski_w) and Iíll add those players to future updates.
Saturday was a mixed day for Irish players, with poor recent weather making it heavier going for batsmen than usual, particularly around Sydney, where some games are still being postponed due to unplayable surfaces.
Scorecards show teams batting first were struggling, and storm clouds were seen approaching Sydney as the dayís play reached conclusion. Perhaps not the conditions they or Cricket Ireland were hoping for, but you canít do much about that.
A number of two-day games starting this Saturday will finish next weekend.
In Perth, where the last round of games was abandoned, Stuart Thompson played his second 1st grade game of the season for Wanneroo. In his first game he scored 54 runs. This Saturday he bowled with more reward, taking 3-44 in his 13 overs against Freemantle, and also 1 catch. However, he was bowled for a duck the following innings.
Andy McBrine, also in Perth, is playing his second 1st grade game of the season for Midland-Guildford. Batting at number three, he scored 7 runs (including a 4), matching his return in the first game when he batted at five. However, he took a wicket with the 5th ball of his first over, shortly before the scorecard stopped updating (I presume it was last ball of the day).
Recovering from injury, Tyrone Kane played in second grade with University (Perth), in a match that will also conclude next weekend. Kane did the best of their top 5 batsmen, scoring with 32 runs off 29 balls.
In Sydney, Nathan Smith continues to take wickets in 1st grade. He followed up his 4-51 in his first game of the season for Northern District, with 3-35 on Saturday against Campbelltown-Camden, taking both opening batsmen, and their number 4 for a duck. If he continues this form, one can see him feature for Ireland in the new year.
The top three struggled to get runs on the board for Randwick Petershamís 2nd Grade side, with 27 runs between them, Harry Tector managing 11 of these. He also conceded 8 runs in the one over he bowled, but he was credited with 2 catches and a run out (which saw off North Sydney opening bat George Lavelle, an England u-19 international and Lancs 2nd regular), and so he can draw some satisfaction with his contribution overall.
In Southern Australia, James McCollum has continued a slow start in Adelaide 1st grade cricket this year. Having scored 3 and 34 in his first 2 games, he went for 4 runs in his third 50-over game of the season.
So, all in all, not a day for the batsmen (Irish nor locals), but some good experience for everyone Iím sure.