It hasn't been the best of starts for Irish players across the water as several haven't made the first team ranks, although many are making a serious impact at the level below with runs and wickets galore.

Irish skipper William Porterfield hasn't featured for Warwickshire, while Gary Wilson has yet to make the first team at Surrey, while George Dockrell's release from Somerset last season means CountyWatch is now looking rather thin compared to the Extra version.

In Division One Boyd Rankin hasn't taken many wickets as pitches - perhaps due to the new toss rule introduced this year - have been generally run filled despite mixed early season weather.

He took 1/39 and 1/43 in a draw with Hampshire, and again took one wicket in each innings against Yorkshire, making 16 not out with the bat.

Tim Murtagh has been more prolific with Middlesex, who included Paul Stirling in their last two matches - in an effort to boost their appalling over rate as much as for his batting prowess.

Murtagh took 3/68 including the wicket of Ian Bell in an even contest with Warwickshire, although he and Stirling went wicketless in the rain-ruined draw with Durham.

Stirling made 44 and Murtagh 5 as Middlesex just failed to secure a fourth batting point.

Stirling was again wicketless in the match this week against Hampshire, but was fairly economical conceding 63 runs in the 25 overs he bowled.

Murtagh did well claiming 3/64 and 2/39 while the 'Lambeth Lara' stroked an unbeaten 39.

Ed Joyce and Niall O'Brien have both passed career milestones during the week.

Joyce passed 17.000 first-class runs thanks to half centuries against Essex (61) and Leicestershire 56 and 69.

O'Brien has enjoyed the best start of all the Irish - he claimed his second five dismissal haul of the season to pass 500 first-class catches.

With the bat he struck 93 against Glamorgan and took 8 catches in the game, and another 8 against Sussex as well as making a fine 55.