WHILE there was plenty of attention paid to the Middlesex T20 side that featured three Irish-born players last weekend, a similar notable event received a lot less coverage.
A pair of county 2nd XI games at Cheltenham College featured not just three Irishmen, but three North-West men.
Boyd Rankin has been finding his way back to fitness – he’s played four T20 games so far – but his only wicket to date came at Cheltenham. Teammate William Porterfield made an unbeaten 31 as Warwickshire won by ten wickets, and in the second game made 19.
And for Gloucestershire, Graeme McCarter made 0 and 11 and his 6.2 overs in the two games went for 51, in which he took the wicket of former England keeper Tim Ambrose.
Elsewhere, Stuart Poynter was in excellent T20 form for Durham 2nds in a pair of games against Nottinghamshire at Nottingham Sports Ground.
Batting No.5 he was run out for 20 and then unbeaten for 42 off 27 balls. In both games he took four catches and a stumping.
On Wednesday, Durham played Derbyshire at Brandon, with Poynter making 27 off 22 and taking a catch off the returning Ben Stokes.
In the second game he made 22 not out off 17 balls.
On the same day Gary Wilson was in T20 action for Surrey 2nds against Sussex, making 60 off 43 balls with four 6s and four 4s. In the second game he was out for 13.
Andrew Balbirnie continued his prolific form – to his century for Leinster Lightning he has added five 50s in just 11 innings for various Middlesex sides – against Kent 2nds at Mote Park, Maidstone.
He was twice dismissed by South African Gareth Harte (who played alongside him for Middlesex two years ago), caught behind by Geraint Jones, for 5 and 56.
In the same game Paul Stirling made 2 and 21.
Ben Wylie played twice for Cambridge University at Fenner’s against Free Foresters, and in his only innings to bat he made 6.
Shane Getkate was in action at the weekend for Sunbury in the Middlesex Premier League, making 19. His only two overs went for 21, most of which were hit by Chris Murtagh, brother of Tim (and therefore just as qualified for Ireland) who made 92 for Reigate Priory.