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July 12, 2009
Ireland 256 for 7 (Stirling 84, Mooney 42) beat Kenya 240 for 6 (Obuya 78*, Ouma 61) by 4 runs (D/L method)
Over the past two years, Ireland have replaced Kenya as the best Associate, and again today in the third ODI at Clontarf, the home side proved their worth with a tense four-run win.
Ireland compiled a competitive 256 for 7 thanks to young Paul Stirling's composed and perfectly paced 84, made from 92 balls and including six fours and two sixes. There was little else, however, from a middle-order that stumbled to spin, but these days Ireland bat long and deep, and Stirling found good support from John Mooney (42 from 80), and pairs of twenties from Kyle McCallan (26 from 21) and a typically muscular 29 from 14 balls by Regan West.
West and McCallan exposed Kenya's death bowlers, smashing 51 in four overs and two balls of power-hitting. And it appeared that the rain which affected yesterday's match would curtail today's too, when the Irish summer came pouring down after just four overs of Kenya's reply. But the weather relented, and Duckworth-Lewis's intervention meant Kenya were to chase 245 from 46.
They made a good start, Maurice Ouma stroking 61 from 80 and Alex Obanda a cultured 41 from 65. But Ireland continued to pick up wickets, and it wasn't until Ouma's deputy, Collins Obuya, teed off that Kenya really scented a win. In 69 balls he scythed, drove and pummelled 78 with five fours and three sixes, reducing the asking rate to leave Kenya chasing a gettable 13 from the last two overs.
Kyle McCallan bowled a superb penultimate over, however - full, straight and offering Obuya and Nehemia Odhiambo neither width or driveable deliveries. Well supported in the field, McCallan conceded just three, and Kenya needed 10 from the last over, bowled by Kevin O'Brien. He too bowled an impressively full length, and though Obuya and Odhiambo scampered singles, they couldn't find the big shots that West and McCallan had earlier managed in their innings.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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