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07 February 201615:14 By Manoj Narayan, Cox's Bazar

Ireland racks up maiden win

Canada tried hard, but it was simply not good enough on the day

Ireland racks up maiden win - Cricket News
With batting a problem area for both sides so far in the ICC Under-19 World Cup, it came down to who would better cope with the issue. Canada Under-19 didn’t fare well at all. It was bundled out for 139 on Sunday (February 7) at the Sheik Kamal International Stadium in Cox’s Bazar, and Ireland Under-19 went on to seal a six-wicket victory in the 13th-place play-off semifinal.

It was another loss for Canada, and it had no one but itself to blame. Unlike in its previous clash against Zimbabwe, where its batsmen were at pains to apply themselves, rotate strike and keep the runs flowing, none of that effort was on display here, for the best part. Canada was reduced to 30 for 5 before Arslan Khan scored an 88-ball 47 to boost the total to 139.

That posed little to no threat to Ireland. Fortified by a composed opening stand of 75 between Jack Tector, the captain, and Stephen Doheny, Ireland eased past the finish line thanks to an 39-run partnership between the McClintock brothers, Gary and William. Ireland ended the chase in 34. 3 overs, posting 142 for 4. In doing so it assured itself of at least a 14th-place finish, and will meet the winner of the Fiji and Scotland.

Ireland’s pacemen – Rory Anders and Tom Stanton – kept things tight, and Canada seemed to struggle when there were mini phases that went without runs. In their urge to get the scoreboard ticking, the batsmen would try to go the extra mile, resulting in a miscue or a run out.

Canada was deep in a hole when its top order collapsed, Anders being in the thick of things. He induced an edge off Thursaanth Anantharajah (2) in the second over, had Bhavindu Adhihetty (17) caught behind and Amish Taploo (1) trapped in front soon after.

Harsh Thaker (3) then popped one back to Gary McClintock, who also had Abraash Khan caught behind two balls later for nought.

A sizeable crowd had gathered by then and they were treated to a spell of defiance from the lower middle-order, with Arslan leading the way. In the second over he faced, he hit consecutive fours off Gary, one pushed gently through midwicket and the other flat-batted over the bowler.

Arslan was excellent at batting with the tail, farming strike and putting on mini partnerships. For all Ireland’s early momentum, it didn’t have an answer to Arslan, who finally gave the Canada bench something to cheer about. His sixth-wicket association with Suliman Khan yielded a much-needed 24. He then added 18 for the seventh-wicket with Kurt Ramdath, closing in on a fine half-century all the while.

However, it never came. He stepped forward to Fiachra Tucker’s offspin and was bowled, bringing an end to his 29-run ninth-wicket stand with Shlok Patel. However, his knock had given Canada some momentum, allowing Shlok and Prushoth Wijayaraj to add a chancy but important 37 for the final wicket, pushing an innings that once seemed headed for an early finish to 48.2 overs.

Ireland, in its chase, was assured, mostly. Tector and Doheny were rarely troubled by the Canadian bowlers, who kept giving too much space to the batsmen. Tector and Doheny welcomed it with drives and cuts to the ropes.

The batsmen chipped away and the 50-mark was breached within eight overs. They had added 75 for the opening wicket before Canada had the breakthrough – it led to a mini implosion. Doheny’s attempts to send Mamik Luthra’s tossed up delivery over long on ended up with mid-on, before Adam Gillespie was caught behind after an attempted cut off Adhihetty. Tector and Gary slowly added 17 in 48 balls until Tector popped one straight to cover to end an 81-ball knock of 33. Lorcan Tucker then lasted all of two balls.

Gary was joined in the middle by his twin brother, William, and the two were extremely assiduous, opting for a safety-first approach.

That resulted in a drab phase, but Ireland didn’t mind, it had secured its first victory in what has been a long tournament.

To see full scorecard, click here