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Page last updated at 15:36 GMT, Monday, 14 July 2008 16:36 UK

Connell targets further success

Ireland bowler Peter Connell
Ireland's Peter Connell claimed 10 wickets against the Netherlands

Ireland bowler Peter Connell is hoping to maintain his superb form after a dream debut in the ICC Intercontinental Cup win the Netherlands.

The North Down player burst on to the first-class scene in Rotterdam taking 10 wickets, including a hat-trick.

Now the 26-year-old is aiming to make an impact in the Twenty20 World Cup qualifiers in Belfast on 2-4 August.

"It is a massive competition for us, and there is so much at stake for all the Associates," said Connell.

"Hopefully I have done enough to feature for the rest of the year. I would love to repeat this form in the important games ahead."

Right-arm pace bowler Connell became just the 16th bowler in the long history of first-class cricket to capture three wickets in three balls on debut.

The hat-trick was just the third by an Ireland player since the first recognised international match in 1855.

Former captain Trent Johnston took one against Gloucestershire in 2007 while TH Hanna was the first to manage the feat back in 1877.

Connell's match figures were the best by an Ireland player in a first-class game since former Lisburn, Middlesex and Ireland left-arm slow bowler Dermott Monteith took 12-95 against Scotland in 1973.

"It was a job well done as far as the Ireland team are concerned, and obviously while I am pleased with my own performance, it is the team that matters most," added Connell.

"The longer form of the game helped me get into the groove and there will be worse pitches than that to have as a fast bowler.

"Having put 400 on the board, we were able to exert pressure and had four and five slips most of the time."

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