Ireland start World Cup campaign with warm-up win in Sydney

Stephen Doheny scores half-century on first appearance in green

Ireland (126-7, 19 overs) (S Doheny 65*; R Ninan 2-13) beat Randwick Petersham CC (125-7, 20 overs) (B Mitchell 48; G Delany 2-10) by three wickets. Scorecard here.

Stephen Doheny scored a half-century on his first appearance in an Ireland shirt as preparation for the T20 World Cup began with a three wicket win over Sydney club Randwick Petersham at the Coogee Oval.

Doheny, opening the batting in place of Paul Stirling - he and Harry Tector are yet to link up with the squad after their exploits in the Caribbean Premier League - ended unbeaten on 65 as he steered home Ireland’s chase in pursuit of a lowly total of 125-7.

Ireland were sent into the field at the toss by their hosts, but went about their business well in restricting Randwick Petersham, Gareth Delany and Barry McCarthy both picking up two wickets while the majority attack produced economical figures. Only Bready pace man Conor Olphert, playing in green for the first time since June, struggled, returning figures of 0-36 at an economy of nine an over.

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Doheny did not receive much support from his top order teammates in the chase, but brief cameos from Gareth Delany (14) and Mark Adair (17) did add some stability to proceedings, the former departing to a stunning return catch by spinner Ninan off his own bowling. The innings was vindication of sorts for Doheny, who spent the entire summer in Ireland’s squad without ever making his international debut.

He was picked to play in the fourth T20I against Afghanistan in August only for Ireland to change their team at the last minute once the match was shortened due to rain. With Tuesday’s game coming against a club side, Doheny still must wait for his international debut. Despite his runs, he still likely needs an injury to force his way into the World Cup side with Paul Stirling certain to slot back in at the top of the order.

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns is an Irish Times journalist