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.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

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.

--

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper whenever you are able to do so.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world.

But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper when you can safely.

You can also enjoy unlimited access to the best news from across Northern Ireland and the UK by subscribing to newsletter.co.uk

With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.

Thank you