PAUL Stirling has been ruled out of Northern Knights’ 50-over Inter-provincial Cup games because of his T20 Blast commitments with Northamptonshire.
The Knights selectors had originally named Stirling in a provisional 16-man squad but a change of dates and the release yesterday of the T20 Blast fixtures means Stirling will be unavailable for any of the Knights’ four games which will be played in a 10-day window next month.
The Ireland opener, who will be back in action for North Down at the international ground at Stormont on Saturday, would have been available for games against North West Warriors and Leinster Lightning on September 24 and 26 but those games at Shaw’s Bridge have been brought forward to September 10 and 18 respectively.
Northamptonshire’s first Blast fixture is on August 27 – also ruling out Stirling from the Knights’ last three T20 games – and continue through until September 20.
The T20 inter-provincial Trophy will be played from August 20 to September 8 with the Inter-provincial games following from September 10-28, although the final two games are now Warriors v Lightning.
The Knights selectors have made two other changes to the expanded T20 squad for the 50-over series with Neil Rock and Matty Foster replacing Greg Thompson and Ross Adair
Meanwhile, the Greens lead the Blues 2-1 in the four-match Ireland Under-17 intra-squad series after they won a tied match yesterday at Carrickfergus on fewer wickets lost.
It was plain sailing for the Greens in their pursuit of the Blues 123-9 while Tim Tector, the youngest of the three brothers in the YMCA club, was in the middle. He had dominated the second wicket partnership with Andrew Tonge to reach 49 off 35 balls and take his side to 77-1 in the 10th over.
But trying to bring up his half century in the grand manner - it would have been his fourth six - Tector holed out on the mid-wicket boundary to the first ball he had faced from Waringstown’s Matthew Daly, who finished with three wickets. Nine overs later the Greens still needed nine to win off the last over and now seven wickets down.
Lisburn’s Cameron Doak played a superb ramp shot to hit a four off the second ball but after Paddy Morris was run out by Matthew Humphreys to give Doak the strike for the last ball, they knew a single would be enough – and Doak did just that.
It was agreed that, although the Greens had won the match, the teams would practise a Super Over – the regulatory way for deciding T20s at international level – and the Blues came out on top in this one with Doak on the receiving end as Rush’s Nathan McGuire and Clontarf’s Brendon Hildebrand passed Tector and Ewan Wilson’s total of eight, conceded by Humphreys, with a ball to spare.
While the Under-17s have a day off today – the final match of the series is at Carrick on Friday (noon) – Tector is back in action at Wallace Park today (2pm) playing for the South against the North in the Development match for players immediately outside the Ireland 22 who have just returned from England.
In Coleraine yesterday, North West had a nine wickets victory over an inexperienced NCU side in the women’s inter-provincial, with Alana Dalzell taking three wickets for just four runs. There were also four run outs as the NCU were dismissed for 50.
Ireland Under-17 intra-squad scores: Blues 123-9 (B Hildebrand 38, M Humphreys 30, W de Klerk 22; J Forbes 2-30) Greens 123-8 (T Tector 49, A Tonge 27; M Daly 3-7, A Shah 2-11). Greens won on fewer wickets lost.
Women’s inter-pro: NCU 50 (A Dalzell 3-4) North West 51-1 (Z Craig 23). North West won by 9 wickets.