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Ireland stretches lead on rain-affected day

John Anderson’s half-century the highlight of Day 3 as Ireland reaches 199 for 6, a lead of 278

Ireland stretches lead on rain-affected day - Cricket News
John Anderson's half-century was the highlight of a truncated day and helped stretch the host’s lead to 278 by stumps.
Ireland reached 199 for 6 by the end of the third day of its Intercontinental Cup clash against Hong Kong despite four frustrating rain breaks at the Civil Service Cricket Club in Stormont, Belfast on Thursday (September 1).

John Anderson's half-century was the highlight of a truncated day and helped stretch the host’s lead to 278 by stumps.

Having taken a first-innings lead of 79 after dismissing Hong Kong for 237 on the second day, Ireland secured the top position on the tournament points table. Ireland, riding on big knocks from Gary Wilson (95) and William Porterfield (88), had scored 316 in its first innings.

There had been a light rainfall early in the morning, but the day's proceeding began on time. The heavens opened up once again after 13 overs were bowled, forcing the umpires to take the players off the field. Ireland had just lost Ed Joyce (37) at that stage, and the scoreboard read 53 for 1 with Porterfield and Anderson in the middle.

Once play resumed, the duo took Ireland's score past the three-figure mark before losing Porterfield, bowled by Ehsan Khan, the right-arm off-spinner, at the stroke of lunch.

Rain arrived once again during the break and delayed the start to the post-lunch session by 45 minutes. Though the officials and groundsmen managed to squeeze in five overs quickly, another bout of heavy rain forced the longest break of the day. An early tea was taken with Ireland on 120 for 2.

In the final session, Anderson and Niall O'Brien added 42 runs off 81 balls for the third wicket before Tanweer Afzal struck twice to dismiss O'Brien and Paul Stirling in quick succession.

Anderson fell for 59 in the 46th over, and it was up to Wilson and Kevin O'Brien to stretch the lead further.

But Afzal, who had grabbed four wickets in the first innings, dismissed Wilson for 25, leaving Kevin and George Dockrell to take Ireland to stumps, which was called early courtesy bad light.

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