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Murtagh snares four as Ireland sights victory

Namibia ends third day on 169 for 7, still behind by 150 runs with a full day’s play remaining in ICC Intercontinental Cup match

Murtagh snares four as Ireland sights victory - Cricket News

Ireland maintained a firm grip on its ICC Intercontinental Cup match against Namibia, ending the third day just three wicket away from sealing its second win in the tournament. 

Starting the day on 402 for 3, Ireland declared on 570 for 6, with a massive overall lead of 319. Then, a fine display of pace bowling from Tim Murtagh (4 for 16) reduced Namibia to 169 for 7 at the Wanderers Cricket Ground in Windhoek on Monday(October 26). 

Ireland lost Gary Wilson (25) and William Porterfield early into the day, but Stuart Poynter (33), Kevin O’Brien (45 not out) and John Mooney (53 not out) ensured the side maintained control.

Porterfield's 327-ball innings finally came to an end when Christopher Coombe (2 for 92) had him caught by Sarel Burger, but not before the captain made 186, an innings that saw 21 hits to the boundary and one six. 

Mooney and Kevin added 97 runs for the seventh wicket to frustrate the Namibia bowlers before Porterfield decided to have a crack at victory. 

While the batmen did their job brilliantly, the bowlers ensured a tough start to Namibia’s reply, with the top four batsmen dismissed with only 12 runs on the board. 

Xander Pitchers was trapped lbw by Murtagh off the fourth ball of the innings. Murtagh then nipped out Stephan Baard, the captain, in his next over for 1. Raymond van Schoor lasted nine deliveries before he was bowled by Murtagh to give the pacer his third wicket. 

In need of a partnership, Namibia pinned its hopes on JP Kotze and Burger. The duo fought for 17 overs to add 68 runs for the fifth wicket. Burger was then undone by Paul Stirling in the 24th over to be caught by Niall O’Brien, the wicketkeeper. 

Kotze then collaborated with Gerrie Snyman (31) to take the score into three figures. With wickets tumbling and the pressure mounting, Kotze became Murtagh’s fourth victim of the day before George Dockrell had Snyman leg-before in the 44th over. At the time, Namibia was seven down and still trailing by 193 runs. 

JJ Smit (18 not out) and Zane Green (18 not out) then batted out the remaining overs while adding 36 runs but Namibia still trails by 150 runs and will have a steep task on hand on the fourth and final day. 

Earlier, Ed Joyce made a magnificent 205 after the Ireland bowlers restricted Namibia to 251 in the first innings. 

Ireland has already sealed six points on the basis of a first-innings lead and now has 26 points after its win against the United Arab Emirates in the first game. 

To see the full scorecard of this game, please click here.

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