Sunday, 28th May 2006

Joyce and Smith star in nine wicket C & G win over Ireland


Vs: Ireland

Match: CGT S

Venue: Lord's

One Day

Middlesex kept their chance of reaching the Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy alive with a resounding nine wicket win over Ireland at Lordís. A win over arch rivals Essex at Lordís next Sunday is essential to keep their hopes alive.

After the deluge of rain we have been experiencing since the hose-pipe ban was brought in, it says a lot for the drainage at Lordís that a prompt start was made. Ireland won the toss and elected to bat first on the wicket that had been used for the weather ruined match against Warwickshire.

Ed Joyceís brother, Don opened the batting with Bray for Ireland, and the right hander took two boundaries off Keegan in the third over of the day. Keegan took the first wicket, having Bray caught by Ed Joyce for 11, and in his following over he had Botha caught at slip for a duck.

Mohammad Ali had Johnston dropped at the wicket in his first over, but Johnston was run out in the following over by Ed Joyceís direct hit on the stumps at the keepers end. Pakistani Shahid Afridi was in typically robust form, taking seven balls before scoring but then hitting Scott Styris for successive boundaries. He hit Mohammad Ali for six in the following over and had scored a run a ball 27 before he holed out to Ben Hutton off Styris.

After twenty overs, Ireland had reached 81-4. Jamie Dalrymple came on at the Pavilion End and tied the batsmen down, and Ed Joyce was also brought on and bowled against his brother. After Joyce had bowled three overs, Owais Shah came on for a rare bowling spell, and in his first over had Don Joyce caught for 45.

Jamie Dalrymple then picked up two wickets to reduce the visitors to 138-7 with twelve overs remaining. Johann Louw trapped Gillespie LBW for 43 but Saqlain Mushtaq and Mooney added 31 runs for the ninth wicket before Chad Keegan came back and took the last two wickets to finish with 4-24 off 9.3 overs.

Chasing 185 runs for victory, the two Edís, Joyce and Smith got Middlesex off to a flying start with Smith racing to a 39 ball fifty (1 six & 9 fours) out of a total of 74 after only 11 overs. Ireland brought on their two Pakistani test bowlers but they were unable to stem the flow of glorious stroke play from the Middlesex openers.

Joyce who was 29 runs behind Smith after 16 overs, overtook Smith four overs later, taking three successive fours off a Saqlain Mushtaq over and 4 fours in five balls off the following over bowled by Langford-Smith. Joyce followed up by hitting Botha for three successive boundaries and was in with a chance of a hundred against his native country.

Joyce was on 95 with four runs needed for victory, when he was out to a fine catch at deep point; his innings contained 1 six and 16 fours (off 74 balls). Owais Shah joined Smith and they saw Middlesex to victory with nine wickets and 25.4 overs to spare. Ed Smith finished 81 not out off 67 balls (1 six & 13 fours).

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