Stirling & Murtagh out of tour as Irish are hammered in opener

Paul Stirling in action against Namibia in last year's ICC World Twenty20 qualifiers
Opening batsman Paul Stirling is out of the tour because of a back injury
Tour match, Kerrydale Oval, Gold Coast:
Queensland 322-6 (50 overs) beat Ireland 92 (30.1 overs) by 230 runs
Match scorecard (external site)

Middlesex duo Paul Stirling and Tim Murtagh have been ruled out of Ireland's current tour of Australia and New Zealand because of injury.

News of the duo's withdrawal was released as Ireland opened the four-week tour with a 230-run hammering by Queensland in a 50-overs contest.

In reply to Queenland's 322-6, Ireland were bowled out for 92 in 30.1 overs with George Dockrell top-scoring on 32.

Bowler Murtagh has a knee injury with Stirling troubled by a back problem.

"Tim has played the county season with patella tendinopathy which is treated daily," said Cricket Ireland performance director Richard Holdsworth.

"It has been getting progressively worse over the last six weeks although he has played through the pain barrier.

Ireland tour fixtures
30 September: v Queensland Bulls - lost by 230 runs
2 October: v Queensland Bulls, Redlands Oval, Brisbane
7 October: v Comets/NSW 2nd XI, Manuka Oval, Canberra
9 October: v Comets/NSW 2nd XI, Manuka Oval, Canberra
16 October: v Northern Districts, Seddon Park, Hamilton
18 October: v New Zealand XI, Seddon Park, Hamilton
21 October: v Canterbury, Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln
23 October: v Otago, Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln

"He now requires rest and treatment to get him fit and healthy for consideration in our World Cup plans and will remain at home and receive treatment from his Middlesex CCC physiotherapist."

Opening batsman Stirling will continue to receive treatment on his back injury but will not play any part in the current tour.

With the Ireland squad still containing 16 players after the withdrawals, the management have not opted to call up any replacements.

The Irish did not cover themselves in glory in Tuesday's tour opener at the Kerrydale Oval on the Gold Coast as they were outclassed by the Queensland side.

Joe Burns hit 107 with Chris Hartley notching 95 as the Irish bowlers came in for some severe punishment.

Graeme McCarter was the top wicket-taker as he produced figures of 3-63 from his nine overs with Andy McBrine (1-74) on the receiving end of some heavy hitting and John Mooney (1-15) the most economical.

In the Irish reply, only Kevin O'Brien (17) and Craig Young (15) joined Dockrell in reaching double figures.

Ireland will continue their eight-match tour with another contest against Queensland in Brisbane on Thursday.

The Irish will hope that the availability of skipper William Porterfield and other English county players Niall O'Brien and Gary Wilson will help ensure a better performance in Brisbane.

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