THE WISDOM of Ireland selecting six spin bowlers for the World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe was clearly demonstrated at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo yesterday despite a two-wicket loss to the Netherlands in their final warm-up match.

Leggie Ben White took 5-61 and finger spinners Andy McBrine, George Dockrell and Harry Tector claimed the other three wickets to fall before the Dutch side staggered over the line chasing a modest Ireland total of 193.

On a spin-friendly pitch, Ireland’s innings ended after 39.2 overs when top-scorer Lorcan Tucker was stumped for an encouraging 74 from 90 balls, after sharing in two important stands with Gareth Delany and Graham Hume.

All-rounder Delany gave the selectors pause for thought this weekend with a cracking 46 from 25 balls, including four sixes and as many fours, but was then only the sixth bowler used and given just three overs of leg spin.

With Josh Little and Curtis Campher expected to return to the starting XI for Monday’s first group game against Oman, Delany’s explosive batting might yet get him the nod ahead of seamers Hume and Craig Young, especially if the pitch looks likely to take as much spin.

A batting engine room of Tucker, Campher, Dockrell and Delany would be as strong as any in the 10-team tournament, with Mark Adair a more than useful No9 followed by Little and White, although Hume, who made 30 yesterday (THURS) would still be favourite for the last spot

Skipper Andy Balbirnie has confirmed that McBrine will continue to open, after the off-spinner fell early for the second time in the two warm-ups, while the captain himself is still searching for runs, despite his 12 from 39 balls ending a trot of single figure returns.