Ireland v Namibia, Intercontinental Cup final, P Elizabeth, 2nd day October 31, 2008

Snyman snares five but final in balance

Cricinfo staff

Namibia 250 and 14 for 2 (A Burger 7*, S Burger 6*) lead Ireland 195 (Cusack 95*, Johnston 58, Snyman 5-53) by 69 runs

A rare attacking shot from Alex Cusack during his vital 95 for Namibia © ICC

The final of the ICC Intercontinental Cup is fascinatingly poised after the second day's play, with Namibia resuming tomorrow on 14 for 2 and leading by 68. Ireland were bowled out for a disappointing 195, largely thanks to a heroic 95 from Alex Cusack, as Gerrie Snyman (5 for 53) and Sarel Burger (4 for 23) rattled through their opponents.

Namibia's last two only added a further nine to their overnight 241, with Louis Burger unbeaten on 74. Like Namibia, however, Ireland's top-order struggled and were quickly reduced to 47 for 4 - all four falling to Snyman, who hit the stumps three times. When Andrew White fell for just eight, Snyman had grabbed all five and Ireland were in danger of a rapid and potentially Cup-losing collapse.

Enter Cusack and Trent Johnston who together put on 141 for the sixth wicket. Both players were uncharactersitcally subdued, as determined by the treacherous position in which Ireland found themselves. Namibia might well have wrapped things up much sooner had their third slip clung onto a tricky chance when Cusack was on 12, but he paid them pay with a watchful and vital innings of 95 in which he stroked 15 fours.

Ireland were finally bowled out for 195, trailing by a significant 54 runs, but Peter Connell tore in to remove Louis van der Westhuizen and Louis Klazinga before the close, redressing the balance. The Intercontinental Cup final is shaping up very nicely indeed.