Stephen Doheny admits that Ireland were off the pace when he made his international debut in a losing cause on Thursday but expects the Boys in Green to bounce back in today’s (SAT) second T20i against Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club.

Doheny, the Merrion wicketkeeper batsman, acquitted himself tidily deputising for Lorcan Tucker behind the stumps after he was one of only three Ireland batsmen to reach double figures in a disappointing 114 all out.

“We were quite slow in reacting,” the 24-year-old said. “Batting conditions were slightly slow. The pitch was dry, and the ball stuck into the surface occasionally, and often there wasn’t much bounce, so it was definitely challenging. 

“But looking at our schedule over the next couple of months [tours of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka] we’re going to have to get used to those sort of conditions and adapt quicker.

“All-in-all we didn’t play a very good game but we still put up a fight, so there’s a lot of good signs there.”

Harry Tector provided the surprise package with the ball, taking 2-17 from a full quota of four overs as he was asked to bowl in a T20i for the first time after impressing with his off spin in the Nepal domestic tournament last year.

Andy Balbirnie was so spoilt for choIce, all 10 outfielders could have legitimately been called on to bowl, including the skipper himself who began his career as an off-spinning all-rounder.

With runs hard to find, the balance of the side was weighed too heavily in the other direction, though, with Fionn Hand, who batted at No 10, restricted to one over and Tyrone Kane, picked as a bowler for Ireland’s inaugural Test match against Pakistan, not called on at all.

The selectors might have erred by not choosing another specialist batsmen or two for the tour - the stand out candidate being PJ Moor, the former Zimbabwe international who captained Munster Reds last season and is now Ireland qualified.

Meanwhile, Amy Hunter will lead her Ireland side into their U19 World Cup campaign against the West Indies in Potchefstroom tomorrow (SUN) with group matches against New Zealand and Indonesia to follow at the same South African ground.