Ireland v West Indies, World T20 2012, Group B, Colombo September 24, 2012

Rain pain for Ireland again


Ireland 129 for 6 (Gayle 2-21) v West Indies match abandoned
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

West Indies qualified for the Super Eights of the World T20 after rain prevented a second innings in their key Group B game against Ireland in Colombo. It meant Ireland exited on the back of a no-result for the second World T20 running, after they were denied the chance to beat England by the weather in Guyana in 2010.

With both teams having lost their first game in the tournament, this was a must-win encounter. But while Ireland will feel understandably aggrieved at the manner of their elimination, they will also reflect that they produced two under-par displays with the bat and that, had the rain that started to fall heavily straight after their innings stayed away, West Indies would have been strong favourites to overhaul a target of 130 in 19 overs. They qualified through virtue of a superior run-rate to Ireland.

The unsatisfactory manner of Ireland's exit will do nothing to improve the reputation of this event, though. Staging such a high-profile tournament during the monsoon season in Sri Lanka was always likely to prove a high-risk strategy and there was something almost inevitable about rain ruining one of the few games in the event so far where the result actually mattered. Tellingly, spectators once again stayed away from this game in their droves.

The result also underlined the importance of winning the toss in this World T20. With the limitations of the Duckworth-Lewis method becoming increasingly apparent in this format, the opportunity to bat second and benefit from D/L is an obvious advantage. Had the rain relented, West Indies could have been set a target of just 44 in five overs with all of their wickets intact.

Ireland will reflect, however, that they never really found much fluency with the bat. William Porterfield, for the second game in succession, was dismissed by the first ball of the match. Perhaps anticipating a repeat of the bouncer that he hooked down the throat of fine leg against Australia, Porterfield was this time beaten by a fine, inswinging yorker from Fidel Edwards.

Perhaps the rain that interrupted their innings after only five overs was also crucial. Before the delay, Ireland were well placed at 33 for 1, with Ed Joyce having guided his first ball to third man and inside edged another boundary later in the over and Paul Stirling looking increasingly fluent. While Ravi Rampaul's first over cost just two, Stirling top-edged a pull to the boundary off Edwards and then greeted Darren Sammy's introduction into the attack in the fifth over by giving himself a little room and crashing a pair of fours through the covers.

Sunil Narine came into the attack after a rain delay of about an hour, with the game reduced to 19 over per side. He soon showed the value of his spin bowling, beating Joyce's outside edge with his first two deliveries and then bowling him as the batsmen attempted a sweep with his third. At the end of the power-play, Ireland were 35 for 2.

Sammy dismissed Stirling, top-edging an attempted pull, in the seventh over, and almost has Gary Wilson in similar fashion later in the same over. On this occasion, however, Wilson gloved the ball over the keeper's head and capitalised by sweeping Narine for one boundary and cover driving Russell for another. The introduction of Chris Gayle accounted for Wilson, though, when he edged an arm-ball to the keeper to leave on 70 for 4 in the 12th over.

A partnership of 26 between Kevin and Niall O'Brien gave the Ireland innings some impetus. Niall pulled one six off Andre Russell, while Kevin drove another off Edwards, but when Gayle beat Niall O'Brien with a quicker ball and Kevin O'Brien, in moving across his stumps to glance, was bowled by a yorker, Ireland's last recognised batsmen had gone.

Narine, perhaps unsettled by Nigel Jones carting him for six over long-on, donated a free-hit to the Irish cause by over-stepping in the penultimate over and Trent Johnston thrashed one six over long-on off Gayle, but their total of 129 for 6 was still likely to prove some way short of par.

West Indies had made two changes to their side for the game. Russell came in for Dwayne Bravo, who had a groin strain, while Darren Bravo replaced Dwayne Smith.

Ireland were without Boyd Rankin. He had not recovered from the illness that has swept through the Irish camp in recent days, so Max Sorensen was drafted into the side in his place. It means that Rankin, who a few weeks ago announced his decision to retire from international cricket with Ireland in order to concentrate on playing Test cricket for England, has probably played his last match for the country of his birth.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • antidarwin on September 26, 2012, 10:07 GMT

    Why westindies management still considered Ravi Rampaul in starting eleven is a big mystery to me, if he continues to play i am sure if there is a scenerio of 25 runs required in last over and he is bowling it mark my words the team chasing will win it easily, he is a match looser, in 2007 world cup t20 and 2012 world cup t20 both games windies had amassed plus 190 and this guy gifts these runs to opposition without any fuss, he is totally a school cricketer without any knowledge and badree should have come to play instead of this mediocre slow bowler. I wish they had choosen kemar roach over him even if he bowled 10 no balls he wouldnt give that much score as this ravi rampaul gives in 1 over OMG

  • Dummy4 on September 26, 2012, 2:57 GMT


  • Terry on September 26, 2012, 2:01 GMT

    This has to be the worst world cup format of all time. The four top sides that topped the groups having to fight it out for two of four semi final positions. Where is the advantage in winning the group stage? The West Indies after losing one and other washed out match will play an easier Super Eights then Australia will, which is rediculous. Also the Associates had nearly no showing. Two warm up matches, two group matches, three super eight matches, semis and final, just stupid. With those nine matches those teams could have played: * Two groups of eight, semis & final. OR * Four groups of seven, quarters, semis & final. or many other formats. Two ideas I think would be better: [1] 32 team world cup (8 groups of 4), winners play in 2 groups of 4, then semis & finals. With rained out matches awarded to higher seeded team. [2] OR a round robin in which 16 teams play a World Series over two years with Super Eights played in a single country, followed by semis & final in that country.

  • ali asghar on September 25, 2012, 17:57 GMT

    @Des_65, mark my work words, you will realize soon. so far it has been very predictable program. Think deep to make a logic out of my previous comment.

  • utkarsh on September 25, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    @Khan Irfan Wazir- I'm sorry man but that ain't gonna happen ,India, South Africa and Australia are in the same group. To me it looks like SA Ind WI SL are gonna make it.

  • michael on September 25, 2012, 16:56 GMT

    The live commentary had Gayle's dance as the "chicken". That was really funny. He was trying the GANGDAM by a Korean singer. That video is now the most viral ever with about 300 million hits in a short time, That says that cricket lovers (including me) do not follow music videos. Ha.

  • Sammy on September 25, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    This World Cup will go down as one of the worst ever organized..

  • Dummy4 on September 25, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    India...Australia,,,,,South africa,,,,West Indies....Gonna be in semi's....I m Pakistani And want Pak in Semi But dnt look any Chance of Them...Australia or India Gonna b the winner...Cricinfo Plz keep Record of it....

  • Dummy4 on September 25, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    @jonesy2 - Our so called whining for more games is not a whine. It's a plea to give us more games, I don't know who you follow but presuming it's a Test side. You have games right throughout the year.

    While Ireland don't play another game for 6 months, then it's playing the UAE. Which we should easily put aside.

    How can Test sides expect us to play the level of associates, then be 100% ready to take on the worlds best come the big world cups. We need more practice outside of world cups to get ready.

    Try being an associate for a while, you will see how great your fixture list is in comparison to ours...

  • Philip on September 25, 2012, 12:07 GMT

    It is easy to blaming all and sundry instead of looking at the media's input too. These games could have also been scheduled to start earlier if the rain is to be blamed. SL enjoys the benefit of two seasons either East Coast or West coast. They did have the option of playing at Dambulla too. There was a choice to work around the rain. Late afternoon showers could have been avoided. To have a window to accommodate the World T20 seems to be second to the IPL. Money rules, which is quite evident. May be the IPL needs to be rescheduled? Philip Gnana, Surrey

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