TWO Irishmen will be taking part in a major global T20 tournament in India this October.
A place at the Red Ball Campus Cricket finals was the prize for winning the British Universities T20 this week, and Robert McKinley of Ballymena and YMCA’s Bobby Gamble played key roles in Loughborough MCCU getting there.
In the semi-final at the Parks, Oxford, McKinley took 2-14 off four overs and Gamble 1-26 as Durham were held to 101-8. Loughborough won with 5.3 overs to spare.
Then in the final, with England bowler Stuart Broad looking on, Oxford were held to just 126-5, with both Ireland U19 bowlers having identical figures of 4-0-22-1, and the Purple Ones romped home by five wickets with six balls left.
Loughborough now take on the top university teams from all the Test nations (besides NZ and Zimbabwe) at an Indian venue.
The team are also in the final of the British Universities’ 50 over cup after beating Leeds/Bradford MCCU by three wickets.
Gamble took 7-0-30-2 and McKinley 7-0-49-1.
Irish Universities were also in the UK last week, failing in their defence of the Hone McGregor Trophy at F P Fenner’s Ground.
Scorecards are not available, but day one saw an easy win over Scotland, with a big stand between Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin (Trinity, 125*) and Robin Kelly (UCD, 81) with contributions from Will Von Behr (Trinity, 59) and Jack Balbirnie (DIT, 20) helped Ireland to 327-5 off their 50 overs. Scotland were dismissed for 200.
In the final – in which Andy Balbirnie came up from London to watch younger brothers Harry and Jack – Cambridge University made 292-8 and Ireland were struggling after five overs with the score 17-4 and ended on 201 all out.
Barry McCarthy was back with Durham after a trip home to help out Pembroke, and he starred against the Unicorns at Burnopfield.
Durham made 247-8, with Barry rattling up 33 not out off 18 balls, and then took 4-50 from nine overs as Unicorns fell 18 short of their target.
Pembroke team-mate Andy Balbirnie made 51 not out off 39 balls as Middlesex thumped Somerset 2nds by nine wickets in a T20 on Monday.
As Middlesex 1st XI were playing on Thursday Balbirnie didn’t play in the three-day game – but Tim Murtagh found some form after his recent layoff.
He had all four wickets as Somerset collapsed to 28-4 and ended with 16-8-23-5 and, in the second innings 13.1-4-43-3.
Middlesex still needed 39 with the last pair at the wicket but Murtagh (15*) and Bamber (16*) teamed up for a one wicket win.
Warwickshire 2nds came off second best in a pair of T20s to Worcestershire. William Porterfield made 12 in 184-4, but lost by eight wickets with 10 balls to spare, with Mark Adair getting some stick in his two overs, coughing up 34 runs.
There was a notable Associate dismissal in the second game, with Worcester’s Alex Kervezee out c Porterfield b Adair as his side made 225-4. (Adair 3-0-39-1).
Porterfield made 53 off 27 balls in defeat.
Finally, Andy Gorvin made 19 for Hampshire Academy against Lymington in the South of England Premier League.