Ireland debutant dominates Saltires

Ireland

Ireland once again underlined their status as the dominant force in the associate nation game as four wickets from debutant Craig Young put Phil Simmons' weakened side in complete control of their final Intercontinental Cup match against Scotland in Clontarf.

Ireland once again underlined their status as the dominant force in the associate nation game as four wickets from debutant Craig Young put Phil Simmons' weakened side in complete control of their final Intercontinental Cup match against Scotland in Clontarf.

The right-arm fast-bowler, who is currently on the books at Sussex, showed no signs of nerves on his international bow as the visitors were bowled out for just 138 on a truncated first day with Young claiming figures of 4/53 in gloomy conditions.

Young has had to overcome a series of serious injuries after catching the attention of the selectors at an early age, and speaking at the close of play, admitted it's been a long and arduous road to get to where he is now.

"It was obviously a great day but it was a long time coming. I've had a lot of frustrations with injuries and it was nice to get called back into the squad and delighted to be involved again," he said.

"Watching all the other young lads coming through and doing well made be determined to get fit again and those injuries just made me fitter and stronger and now I'm focused on what I want to achieve. If I keep knocking on the door and performing like today then more opportunities will come."

Having already booked a place in December's final, the hosts took full advantage of bowler friendly conditions and an opposition devoid of any confidence before William Porterfield and Paul Stirling strengthened the hosts' superiority by reaching stumps at 35/0, just 103 runs in arrears with ten wickets in hand.

Only an eight wicket stand of fifty-six by tail-enders Moneeb Iqbal and Safyaan Sarif added some respectability to an otherwise incompetent innings as the inexperienced Scottish side simply capitulated under the pressure put on by Ireland's seamers.

The aforementioned duo apart, none of the Scottish batsmen showed any sign of resolve, patience or technical requirements to withstand the early storm and build an innings – however, credit must go to the bowlers who plucked away all day on a consistently threatening line and length.

Graeme McCarter, another young fast-bowler, also enhanced his reputation with three quick wickets after a two-hour rain delay to compound the visitors' misery.

Having won the toss and without hesitation electing to bowl first, Ireland made early inroads after a delayed start due to light drizzle. Hamish Gardiner was first to go when he was bowled by Max Sorensen without troubling the scorer before Young claimed the wickets of Freddie Coleman (12), Preston Mommsen (7) and Richie Berrington (14).

The 23-year-old has been largely restricted to second XI action at Hove since signing an academy contract a couple of seasons ago but showed why he's highly-regarded by the county with a hostile spell of fast-bowling, albeit in favourable conditions.

When Calum Macleod edged Kevin O'Brien, who was winning his 200th cap for his country, to second slip, Scotland were in danger of being bowled out for less than their previous lowest total of 82.

However, a break in play shortly before and after tea halted Ireland's initial momentum and allowed Peter Steindl's dispirited charges to re-group. Nonetheless, the steady flow of wickets failed to cease as left-armer McCarter got in on the act before O'Brien got his second, as wicket-keeper Craig Wallace misjudged a straight one.

Sharif (45) and Iqbal (25) provided some temporary resistance as the pair propelled their side into three figures with a couple of boundaries apiece for the benefit of their already dismissed teammates, who made the surface look like a minefield.

That was until Young returned to end Sharif's sixty-eight ball cameo as he edged behind to Stuart Poynter.

While Ireland may be devoid of their front-line bowling attack – not that they showed it- and middle-order, they have the added bonus of the availability of Porterfield and Stirling and the pair showed their class in a tricky six over spell before stumps.

The Irish captain has endured a miserable campaign for Warwickshire in the longer-format but showed no signs of uneasiness against the red ball with a brisk 23 to safely negotiate a brief Scottish new-ball spell.

<b>Ryan Bailey in Clontarf</b>

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