The Ireland Wolves players can’t say that hadn’t been warned!
On the eve of yesterday’s first 50-over game against Namibia, skipper Harry Tector said “They’re going to come out hard, wanting to beat us after losing the T20 series”.
Well, the Wolves are going to have to do what they did in the T20 series and win the second match today because Namibia stormed to a seven-wicket victory with 10 overs to spare, an eye-opener for a Wolves side which obviously didn’t heed their captain’s warning.
There were four new faces in the squad – the experienced Gary Wilson was one of the sickness casualties – but James McCollum and Jack Tector got into a mix-up in only the fourth over and Tector was run out coming back for a second run.
George Dockrell finished as top scorer but failed to take a wicket in his eight overs which cost 47 runs, and James Cameron-Dow, the other ‘fresh horse’, conceded 32 in just three overs.
The damage had been done with the loss of three wickets (McCollum, Steven Doheny and, second ball, Shane Getkate) in the space of seven balls to leave Wolves 55-4. In-form Harry Tector and Gareth Delany led the recovery but it needed an 89-run stand between Dockrell and Curtis Campher to give the bowlers something to defend.
Both posted half-centuries – Campher’s second in succession, after his debut innings of 45 – and the South African stayed until the first ball of the last over, hitting a six and two fours in his last nine balls. Dockrell had brought up his 50, from 59 balls, with three fours in the same over.
Campher then shared the new ball with Craig Young but they were hit for eight fours in the first eight overs and it needed the introduction of Josh Little to break the opening stand, with the unusual dismissal of hit wicket, with the score on 57 after 12 overs.
Getkate struck in his second over to remove the other opener, Stephan Baard, but not before he had scored 50 off 49 balls and it was to be another 69 runs and 13 overs before what proved to be the Wolves’ last success, Gerhard Erasmus caught behind by stand-in wicket-keeper Doheny for 63.
Meanwhile Rob Cassell’s last involvement with the senior side will be as Acting Coach after Cricket Ireland confirmed yesterday that head coach Graham Ford is unfit to travel to Afghanistan at the weekend for the three-match T20 series, starting next Friday.
Ford cracked three ribs and a vertebra in a fall at his home three weeks ago and doctor’s advice says he should remain in Dublin for rehabilitation.
Cricket Ireland have dispensed with Cassell’s services as Assistant Coach after the Afghanistan tour because he has taken up a position with the Rajasthan Royals at the prestigious Indian Premier League and as it clashes with next month’s tour to Zimbabwe and the start of the international summer, the governing body chose to advertise for a full-time replacement rather than a temporary one and await Cassell’s return.