GRAEME McCarter put himself firmly in the frame for an Ireland recall in the World Cup Super League series against Netherlands next month with career best figures for the Wolves against the Dutch A side in Oak Hill yesterday.
His six wickets for 32 runs was the main reason why the visitors were bowled out for 105 and it was all over less than 21 overs later as the Wolves knocked off the runs for the loss of five wickets to take the series 2-1.
It was no more than what should have happened with a Full Member beating an Associate side but it was extra pleasing for watching Ireland head coach that McCarter, who won the last of his seven international caps in 2015, and the uncapped Ben White were the stars, rather the current members of his squad.
White, called into the attack ahead of the experienced George Dockrell, was the other star with the ball, taking three of the last five wickets at less than three runs an over and at just 22 years of age, the new Civil Service North leg spinner has a bright future ahead of him.
But it was McCarter, with prodigious seam movement making up for his lack of pace, who tested the Dutch batsmen and after taking four wickets in his opening seven-over spell – already his best figures in List A cricket – he returned to take two more, the sixth with one ball to spare to end the scheduled 50-over innings in the 29th.
It was not such a good day – series, actually – for William Porterfield, James McCollum and Stephen Doheny who again were dismissed early to not memorable deliveries and it was left to skipper Harry Tector to see his side home with an unbeaten half-century from just 49 balls. His reached it with three successive fours and then upper-cut the experienced Paul van Meekeren for six to win the match.
At the other end, as usual, was Shane Getkate who finished with an average of 110 following his whirlwind 74 not out in the first match and saw every Wolves innings through to its conclusion in a personally satisfactory series and more solid performances for Northern Knights should help him add to his three one-day internationals.
On a gloriously sunny morning, Netherlands A won the toss and although they bowled the Wolves out the previous day inside 24 overs for 94, they opted to bat first, much to McCarter’s delight.
The new Carrickfergus signing struck in his third over, finding the edge and giving Porterfield what would be the first of four catches at first slip. Two balls later, Craig Young got in on the act but that was his only wicket as McCarter took centre stage.
In the next over he trapped Bas de Leede leg before to complete a miserable series for the Dutchman – yesterday’s run was his only one in the series – and McCarter was on a hat-trick in his fifth over after finding the edge of the experienced Ben Cooper’s bat and then getting his second successful lbw shout.
That left the Dutch on 46 for five in the ninth over – not quite as bad as the Wolves' 10 for five on Wednesday – but there was no way back and, fittingly, it was McCarter who finished the innings.
The batting though, if not team-wise then certainly individually is a work in progress and no help for McCollum, hoping to retain his place in the Ireland one-day squad and Porterfield trying to get back in.
The former captain got himself into a terrible place trying a pull a short ball and gloved it gently to the keeper and McCollum got his second successive duck when he drove his fifth ball straight to backward point.
Doheny got an inside edge to the keeper and Dockrell, after hitting three fours, gave a return catch. But the captain showed why he is a certainty for the game in Utrecht.