A blistering Paul Stirling century was the highlight of the past week as Irish players continue to do well in England.

Stirling dominated an opening stand of 221 with Dawid Malan as Middlesex made light of a Leicestershire total of 220.

The 22 year-old followed up his century against Pakistan with an unbeaten  132 from 96 balls which included no fewer than 19 fours.

Watching Stirling's pyrotechnics from behind the stumps was Niall O'Brien who had made 41 for the Foxes - Tim Murtagh claiming 2 for 39.

O'Brien had made 22 and 6 for his team in their drawn game with one of his former counties, Kent.

Another player who had a close view of a legend in action was Gary Wilson who batted with Ricky Ponting as the former Aussie skipper made 192 versus Derby - before being run out!

Wilson made 45 in that game and was also at the other end while Graham Napier turned in an incredible performance for Essex last night. Napier took four wickets in four balls as Essex crushed Surrey by 178 runs. Napier claimed 7 for 32 including the wicket of Ponting.

Wilson though escaped the carnage as he scored an unbeaten 38.

It's been a miserable season for Warwickshire thus far and they were involved in two close contests in the YB40 competition.

William Porterfield made 16 as they lost to Worcestershire by 9 runs, and 8 as they edged a close contest with Sussex. Ed Joyce scored 31 as the Sharks looked to be on course for victory, but Boyd Rankin came back from an early pounding to take two wickets in the final over.

That was enough for him to be called up by England for their ODI's with New Zealand, and it appears he will play in the final ODI tomorrow - the dead rubber game would rule him out of contention for 4 years and effectively end his Ireland career.

His replacement in the Irish ranks may well come in the form of his fellow Tyrone man Graeme McCarter, who continues to impress when given the opportunity by Gloucestershire.

McCarter took 2/75 and 4/95 in their drawn game with Lancashire - his wicket haul including former Australian Test batsman Simon Katich.

McCarter also took 1/32 as Gloucestershire beat Yorkshire in the CB40.

Ed Joyce scored 59 and 20 as Sussex drew with Notts in the County Championship, while George Dockrell took 1/52 and 1/21 in Somerset's draw against Yorkshire.