/ Cricket

Rain hits Ireland's World League tie with Afghanistan

Updated: Tuesday, 03 Jul 2012 16:54

Paul Stirling was due out first for Ireland but rain scuppered the day's play
Paul Stirling was due out first for Ireland but rain scuppered the day's play

There was no play in Ireland's World League One Day International clash with Afghanistan in Clontarf after heavy overnight rain combined with further showers saw the game postponed, writes John Kenny.

They will try again on Wednesday, weather-permitting. This was due to be the first of two World League games, the eight-team competition, from the top two sides will qualify for the One Day World Cup in Australia 2015.

Ireland top the league and two wins against Afghanistan would go a long way to helping them book a World Cup spot.

Both teams were greeted with the sight of leaden skies this morning ahead of the expected 10.45am start and heavy overnight rain left the outfield sodden.

There was the odd shower in the morning, but it did not rain throughout the early afternoon, so there were hopeful signs.

However the rain started again just before 3pm and it was decided to put the covers back on and try again on Wednesday. However the forecast is far from ideal and the first of the two games could be washed out.

The second game is set for Thursday, again a rain-threatened day, with Friday set aside as provisional if the expected rains come.

Ireland are favourites as their squad contains no fewer than eight players currently on English county books, with Middlesex's Paul Stirling currently in scintillating form.

Stirling, who although only 21 has already played 103 times for Ireland has scored three consecutive half centuries for Middlesex in their T20 competition and he will open the batting along with Irish captain William Porterfield

Ireland are missing pace bowler Boyd Rankin, but have no other injury concerns for the two games against Afghanistan.