A 119-run stand between middle order pair Curtis Campher and George Dockrell has steered Ireland to victory over Scotland, keeping its hope of advancing through Group B of the ICC T20 World Cup alive.
Chasing 177 for victory at Bellerive Oval, the two joined each other at the crease with the score on 4/61 at the midway point of the innings. Here, Ireland’s hopes of a comeback seemed all but dashed.
With their backs to the wall, the men from the Emerald Isle got on the front foot, immediately setting about hacking into the total.
Pivotal to this was a block between the 15th and 17th overs, in which 42 runs were added from the bowling of frontline Scotsmen, Brad Wheal, Josh Davey, and Mark Watt.
The match-winning partnership was highlighted by the contrast of styles during the 60 balls shared. Campher (72 from 32) played with inventive flair behind square, while Dockrell struck the ball hard and straight.
As a result, the combination created an afternoon of magic that will loom large in the minds of Irish fans for years to come.
Speaking with the media post-match, Dockrell praised his young counterpart.
“To be playing at a World Cup and to see somebody do what he did, that kind of knock to take away a game from a team, that’s exactly what you stive for,” he said.“We had that little period at the start where we needed to work through and take a couple of risks, but get the reward towards the end.
“Curtis was almost hitting evey ball for four towards the end there to finish off the game.“It’s fantastic to watch and I’m delighted to be at the other end for it, probably in the best seat for it.”
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In recent years, Dockrell has changed roles within the Irish side.
Starting his journey in international cricket as a full-time spinner, the 30-year-old has completely re-vamped his game to become a dependable hand in the middle order. Moreover, he has been a calming influence among a young batting lineup.
It is a role, he believes, that has been a rewarding one.
“I love it. I’m quite experienced in age and caps, but I suppose a lot of my batting has been quite recent,” Dockrell added.
“We feed off each other pretty well. It’s an exciting team to have the likes of Harry (Tector) and Curtis (Campher) come in and hit the ground running in international cricket.
“I learn as much from them as they do from me.”
In all, it was Ireland’s youth who ultimately stole the show and at just 23 years old, Campher played with the composure of a player ten years his senior.
That is not to say that he has lost touch with the importance of having a strong squad around him, though.
Also facing the media after the contest, the South African born star opened up on Ireland’s strong relationships.
“When you do get an opportunity and you do get a finish on the world stage, it’s really rewarding,” he told.
“We’ve got a really young side. We’re very young in age but very experienced. We have a lot of guys 23 to 25 that have played a lot of games for Ireland already.
“We can really drive each other.
“We really do feed off each other and will push each other to greater success.”
Ireland returns to action at 3pm AEDT on Friday 21 October for a must-win clash with the West Indies. For a full fixture, click here.
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