Intercontinental Cup: Ireland held up by Assad Vala century

Niall O'Brien
Niall O'Brien was Ireland's top scorer with 63
ICC Intercontinental Cup, Townsville, Australia (day two of four):
Ireland 289 (104.4 overs): N O'Brien 63, Wilson 48; Vanua 5-59
Papua New Guinea 166-7 (76 overs): Vala 104 not out
Scorecard (external site)external-link

Ireland lost four wickets for just nine runs as they were bowled out for 289 on day two of their Intercontinental Cup match against Papua New Guinea.

In reply, Papua New Guinea closed on 166-7, with 104 runs of those runs coming from Assad Vala.

Boyd Rankin, back in the Ireland side after playing for England, took two wickets for 16.

Ireland are the holders, and retaining the trophy would mean they qualify for a play-off for Test status.

They came into the match second in the Intercontinental Cup table, six points behind Netherlands.

Resuming on 232-5, Ireland lost Kevin O'Brien (19) early in the day.

George Dockrell (24) and Andy McBrine (23) put on 41 for the seventh wicket but the latter's departure sparked a collapse from 280-6 to 289 all out.

In reply, stylish left-hander Vala hit his second century in only his third match.

He and Jack Vare (22) shared the only partnership of note - 55 for the sixth wicket - after PNG had been reduced to 94-5.