Photo Credit: Zimbabwe Cricket
Yesterday was a special day for Ireland Men’s wicketkeeper-batter Stephen Doheny, as he made his international debut in the opening T20I against Zimbabwe.
Having been named in several squads over the past 12 months, the 24-year-old was named in yesterday’s starting line-up for the first time by head coach Heinrich Malan. It was due reward for his consistent performances in the Inter-Provincial competitions for North West Warriors.
Doheny, who was presented with his first international cap by George Dockrell, said it was a special moment in his career:
“Yesterday was a very special day for me, a day that I’ve dreamt about for a long time. I was delighted that George was the one to give me my cap. George has been a role model for me over the last number of years, and he’s such an experienced member of the team. So yeah, I was very happy that George was, was the person to, to give me my cap.”
Ireland went into the game on the back of their eye-catching exploits in the T20 World Cup in Australia. However, the visitors struggled with the bat in their innings, before Zimbabwe – despite their own struggles – went on to take the win with two overs remaining. Despite the defeat Doheny feels that there’s a lot to take from it:
“It was definitely good to get back out on the park. I think we were quite slow in reacting to the conditions. Hopefully now on Saturday we can rectify that and adapt quicker. All-in-all I don’t think we played a very good game and we still put up a fight, so there’s a lot of good signs leading into Saturday.”
Ireland and Zimbabwe both struggled with the conditions in game one, especially with the bat. How difficult were the conditions to play in:
“Batting conditions were slightly slow. The pitch was dry, and the ball stuck into the surface occasionally, and often there wasn’t much bounce, so it was definitely challenging. But looking at our schedule over the next couple of months I think we’re going to have to get used to those conditions and adapt quicker in the future.”
What was Heinrich’s message to the squad for Saturday’s game:
“I guess Heinrich’s message for Saturday is to adapt and learn on our feet and keep throwing punches. We’ve shown over the last number of months that we can compete with the best teams in the world. Zimbabwe have been successful against us, but I think we definitely have the game to beat them. So yeah, I guess our next message is to just learn as quickly as we can and hopefully we can get a better result come Saturday.”
The Ireland Men’s T20I squad is:
Andrew Balbirnie (captain), Mark Adair, Ross Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Stephen Doheny, Fionn Hand, Graham Hume, Tyrone Kane, Barry McCarthy, Neil Rock, Harry Tector, Ben White.
The Ireland Men’s ODI squad is:
Andrew Balbirnie (captain), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Stephen Doheny, Graham Hume, Tyrone Kane, Josh Little, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker.
The Zimbabwe tour will feature three T20 Internationals, followed by three one-day internationals. All matches will be played at Harare Sports Club. The fixture details are
• 12 January: Zimbabwe Men v Ireland Men – 1st T20I (Harare Sports Club; start 1pm local time)
• 14 January: Zimbabwe Men v Ireland Men – 2nd T20I (Harare Sports Club; start 1pm local time)
• 15 January: Zimbabwe Men v Ireland Men – 3rd T20I (Harare Sports Club; start 1pm local time)
• 18 January: Zimbabwe Men v Ireland Men – 1st ODI (Harare Sports Club; start 9.15am local time)
• 21 January: Zimbabwe Men v Ireland Men – 2nd ODI (Harare Sports Club; start 9.15am local time)
• 23 January: Zimbabwe Men v Ireland Men – 3rd ODI (Harare Sports Club; start 9.15am local time)