Mark Adair relishing return to Stormont as Ireland face South Africa

Ireland’s Mark Adair is relishing a return to Stormont today for the second T20 International against South Africa.

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 7:00 am

It will mark an opportunity for the international hosts to bounce back from defeat in Malahide on Monday - with all-rounder Adair looking forward to the familiar surroundings.

“I’ve grown up playing around Stormont, I remember even helping out the groundsman with the covers when I was young,” he said. “In fact, my first live game of cricket was Ireland v England at Stormont where I was helping to pull the covers - so it will be nice to be back playing there again.

“It’s been great to be back playing in front of crowds too.

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Mark Adair celebrates taking a wicket for Ireland in Malahide against South Africa. Pic courtesy of Cricket Ireland.

“When ‘Bal’ (Andrew Balbirnie) got his hundred the other day you saw the entire ground stand up for him.

“I don’t want to say it was emotional, but you got that tingling feeling once more.

“It gives us hope that in the not-too-distant future when teams like this come over we’ll once again see big crowds - and hopefully we’ll put in a performance against them.

“T20 cricket can be a complicated game at times, but from game one we know that if we just closed out their innings better and started ours a bit better we could have been looking at 150 plays 150.

“We just need to simplify our game plan - I don’t think we need to do anything too differently, we just need to be aware of how we go about executing our plans and getting people within the team involved.”

Ireland paceman Barry McCarthy is keen to build on the early positives.

“I thought we did well in parts,” he said. “It’s obviously a crucial time in the powerplays against these types of teams - and that’s going to be a key theme in pretty much every T20 we play in the lead-up to the World Cup in October.

“How well you do in the powerplays, either with bat or ball, is crucial.

“If you can come out of them level or better, then the rest of the game is a level playing field.”

The second T20 International starts today at 4pm, with South Africa holding a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Stormont will stage the final meeting on Saturday, with both fixtures sold out.


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