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Ireland's Tucker and McBrine achieved personal milestones vs Afghanistan

©Abu Dhabi Cricket
 

While the Ireland Men’s team came up 16 runs short in the first World Cup Super League series match against Afghanistan yesterday, two Irish cricketers achieved personal milestones during the game – Lorcan Tucker and Andy McBrine.

While both players admit that the team win would have been a preferred outcome, their individual achievements were notable achievements and they hope to build on this performance over coming games.

Lorcan Tucker, 24, made his debut in 2016 and had made 31 appearances at senior level. The first-choice wicketkeeper for the last 12 months, Tucker posted his highest score as a batter for Ireland with an assured 83 from 96 balls, striking 3 fours and 3 sixes in the run chase.

This was his second international half-century, and came after an 81-ball innings of 42 in the last ODI against UAE last Monday.

Speaking about his form over the last two matches, he said:

“I think time in the middle really stands to you on wickets like this. I was lucky to get that time against the UAE and that gave me some confidence going into the opening game against Afghanistan. Whilst it was nice to get some runs, they don't mean that much if we don't get that win.”

“Obviously, Rashid, Mujeeb and Nabi together form a dangerous attack, but our plans revolved around nullifying that threat by turning over strike and taking minimal risks. We know that as long they're not taking wickets, we're going alright.”

Reflecting on the outcome yesterday, he said:

“I think we let ourselves down in the field yesterday. We missed several chances, myself included, that could have had a drastic effect on their total and thus, our chase. As a group, we work hard on our fielding, so we hope that yesterday was a one-off and we can return to our high standards on Sunday.”

Andy McBrine, 27, has 84 international caps since his debut in 2013. In the last match against the UAE he took a creditable 1-19 from 5 overs, but watched his teammate Simi Singh claim a five-wicket haul. This match, though, it was McBrine’s turn and this was his first five-for for Ireland taking 5-29 from 10 overs - with his fifth wicket coming off the very last ball of his spell.

“It was obviously pleasing for myself to get my first five-for for Ireland yesterday, but the result puts it more in a wee bit of a downer – it would have been nicer to get five wicket and a win, but it wasn’t to be. I’ve been practising quite hard for the last 3 or 4 weeks out here and lucky enough yesterday was my day with the ball.”

McBrine’s first two wickets came from outfield catches, but remarkably his next three came in identical fashion – caught by Kevin O’Brien at leg slip.

“The leg slip we deployed was a funny one, Balbo [Andrew Balbirnie] and I didn’t really think the regular slip was in play yesterday. I was finding a bit of purchase in the wicket and I thought a leg slip may have been more in the game and thankfully it worked out for us.”

The squad has had a rest day today, and will be back training tomorrow ahead of Sunday’s second match of the three-match series.

UPCOMING FIXTURES

The upcoming international fixtures against Afghanistan at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, are:

Afghanistan v Ireland – 2nd ODI – 24 Jan 2021 (start: 10am local time / 6am Irish time)
Afghanistan v Ireland – 3rd ODI – 26 Jan 2021 (start: 10am local time / 6am Irish time)

The matches against Afghanistan will be part of the World Cup Super League (see below for details).

SQUAD

The Ireland Men’s squad is:

Andrew Balbirnie (C), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, Shane Getkate, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Kevin O’Brien, Neil Rock, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young (Conor Olphert is in squad as a net bowler).

WORLD CUP SUPER LEAGUE

Matches played as part of the inaugural ICC Cricket World Cup Super League (2020-2023) are essentially World Cup Qualifier matches, as the League will serve as part of the 2023 Cricket World Cup Qualification process.

The WCSL features thirteen teams, the twelve Full members of the International Cricket Council (ICC), and the Netherlands (who won the 2015–17 ICC World Cricket League Championship to qualify for this competition). Each team will play an ODI series against eight of the twelve opponents, four series at home and four away. Each series will consist of three ODIs. For the World Cup, the hosts (India in 2023), and the top seven-ranked sides thereafter, will qualify automatically. The remaining five teams will play in a qualifying event along with five Associate sides, from which two sides will go through to the final tournament.