The two nations travelled ‘Down Under’ as part of their preparations for the World Cup, which takes place in Australia and New Zealand early in the New Year.
Both sides finished their tours with a defeat to Otago, but have clearly taken a lot from the trip, which has been an important learning experience and got them used to the conditions they’ll face in February and March.
Since our last round-up of his progress on The InCider, Josh Davey has played one further game, Scotland’s final match of the tour on Wednesday against Otago at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln.
Opening the bowling for the second game running, Josh bowled seven overs for 47, but was unable to make a breakthrough as the hosts amassed an imposing 361 all out off 48.1 overs, with four batsman making half-centuries.
In reply Scotland made a decent attempt at chasing Otago’s target thanks to a superb 128 off just 121 balls from Northamptonshire’s Kyle Koetzer. However the asking rate of 7.49 runs an over proved too much and the last five wickets fell for just 54 runs in 5.5 overs. Slow-left-armer Nick Beard picked up four wickets, including Davey, stumped without scoring: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/777797.html
In total, Josh played in five matches on the tour, taking seven wickets for 224 at 32 apiece with a best performance of 2-38 against Wellington. He also scored 68 runs, with a highest score of 23(also against Wellington) at an average of 13.6.
With the tour now finished, Coetzer told the Cricket Scotland website: “We’re all really looking forward to the World Cup now. The pitches and facilities have been outstanding here and can’t wait to come back.”
The Scotland team’s next destination is the ICC Academy in Dubai, for a nine-day intensive batting camp, starting on 11 November where Somerset Director of Cricket Matt Maynard will be on hand to provide specialist coaching support.
In January, the squad will travel to the West Indies to play in their one-day competition before departing for the World Cup.
Between tours, Josh will be back at Taunton, spending his time training at the County Ground with the rest of the Somerset squad.
Since The InCider’s last update on his progress, George Dockrell played in both of Ireland’s final two games of the tour.
At Lincoln on Tuesday, they played Canterbury, who posted a hugely commanding total of 382-6 in their 50 overs. Opener Ronnie Hira smashed a brilliant 170 off just 129 balls with 22 fours and four sixes before retiring out.
Dockrell bowled relatively tidily, conceding 54 runs off his first eight overs, before Andrew Ellis smashed two sixes and a four off his final over – the last of the innings – to severely dent his figures. As a result, George finished with 1-74 off nine overs, having earlier picked up New Zealand international Neil Broom for 17. He also had a hand in two run outs.
Despite a positive start with the bat by Ireland, they were never really in the hunt and were eventually dismissed for 265 off 48 overs (Dockrell out without scoring) to hand victory to Canterbury by 117 runs: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/765571.html
On Thursday Ireland played the final game of the tour against Otago, also at Lincoln.
The visitors won the toss and elected to bat and reached 248-8 of their 50 overs, in large part thanks to an unbeaten 62-run partnership from tailender Andy McBrine with 43* and keeper Stuart Poynter (32*). Earlier Andy Balbirnie top scored with 59 and Dockrell made 10.
In reply, despite losing three cheap top-order wickets early on, Otago had already made knocked off 180 of their target in just 17 overs thanks to an incredible innings of 136 off just 57 deliveries from New Zealand international Jesse Ryder. In a blistering display of hitting, he clubbed 18 fours and eight sixes.
The onslaught was eventually ended when Dockrell had Ryder caught by John Mooney which gave their side some hope as Andrew McBrine (2-38) dismissed Iain Robertson (53) and Derek de Boorder (2) shortly afterwards.
However, Nick Beard’s unbeaten 24, helped by Sam Wells (20) ensured Otago got over the line with three wickets and 109 deliveries to spare. Dockrell finished with figures of 1-38 in four overs: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/765573.html
Ireland will next be back in New Zealand on February 16 where they will play the West Indies in their opening match of the World Cup in Nelson.
Dockrell finished the tour with seven wickets for 250 runs at 34.28 in six matches. His best performance of 4-17 came against Northern Districts in Hamilton. You can read how we reported that match here: https://www.thein-cider.co.uk/cider-watch-dockrells-heroics-in-vain-as-ireland-lose-new-zealand-tour-match/
He also hit 88 runs at an average of 22 with a highest score of 32* against Queensland on the Gold Coast.
Speaking before those final two games, George told the Somerset CCC website: “It’s been a great trip so far and we have had top class facilities to train in all tour.
“We’ have played a lot of tough cricket and probably haven’t had the results we would have liked but I’ve learned a huge amount about the conditions out here and how best to play my cricket.”
George went on: “I was very pleased with the last game against Northern Districts taking 4 for17 and getting 28 not out.”
He added: “We have two more games in Christchurch before we return home so I’m hoping to get as much out of them as possible.”
Ireland coach Peter Johnson tweeted: “End of a challenging, but very enjoyable tour. Top learning experience under pressure. Can’t fault the team’s attitude.”
- We’re pleased to hear that Josh and George enjoyed their tours. Visiting Australia and New Zealand is bound to have helped their preparations ahead of the World Cup, but we’re sure it will also have helped their development as cricketers too. We’ll keep you updated with their progress throughout the winter on The InCider.