Ireland edge day one against PNG

Niall O'Brien

Niall O’Brien top-scored for Ireland with 63 on day one in Townsville

Niall O’Brien top-scored with 63 as Ireland made a solid start to reach 232-5 in their Intercontinental Cup encounter with Papua New Guinea.

O’Brien hit four boundaries in his 168-ball innings on day one in the Australian venue of Townsville but lost his wicket shortly before the close.

A weather-hit opening day caused 21 overs to be lost to a combination of bad light and rain.

Gary Wilson hit 48 as Papua New Guinea’s bowlers kept Ireland in check.

A sluggish pitch and a slow outfield didn’t help the Irish as the run rate never got above three an over.

Wilson supported O’Brien in a fourth-wicket stand of 69 in the best partnership of the day before being trapped lbw by Chad Soper.

O’Brien then departed shortly before the close as he miscued a pull shot off Norman Vanua’s bowling, although his brother Kevin was still there at the close on 19 not out.

Papua New Guinea will reflect on a number of dropped catches and missed run-out opportunities.

Ireland went into the match second in the Intercontinental Cup table, six points behind leaders the Netherlands.

Pace bowler Boyd Rankin is making his competitive return for Ireland after his switch back from England.

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