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Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Calm Morgan steers Ireland home

Ireland 223 for 4 (O'Brien 89*, Morgan 84*) beat Canada 220 (Barnett 49, Davison 41, Rankin 2-36) by six wickets
Scorecard

Eoin Morgan's mature and calculated 84, and a free-spirited 89 from Kevin O'Brien, led Ireland to a convincing six-wicket win, condemning Canada to their first loss of the tournament. Though both sides are already through to the Super 8s, which get underway on Saturday, Ireland carry through important points into the next and final phase of the competition.

Today's performance by Ireland epitomised their growing stature in Associate cricket, and it was no surprise that Morgan - a full-time professional with Middlesex, whom he helped win the Twenty20 Cup last year - was there at the end. His and O'Brien's superb partnership of 181 was pitted with confident boundaries and urgent running, a combination that left Canada looking beaten long before the result was certain. Such is their flaky confidence.

Yet it was Canada who held the upper hand early in Ireland's chase of 221, reducing them to 42 for 4. Sunil Dhaniram, who had earlier dropped William Porterfield, safely held Gary Wilson at third man off Henry Osinde before Geoff Barnett took a fine and low catch at cover to remove Porterfield in the next over off Umar Bhatti. Bowling full and straight, as the pitch demanded, Bhatti found one to sneak through Niall O'Brien's defence and when Alex Cusack was caught behind for a duck, Ireland were limping on 42 for 4.

Enter Morgan. After spending 18 balls on nought, he soon clipped two off his hip and quickly moved up the gears, lifting Khurram Chohan over extra cover for consecutive boundaries. After bringing up his fifty from 71, he took a shine to Balaji Rao who he rocked back and cut for two more gorgeous fours. Canada's bowlers lacked the disciplined required against such a high-quality batsman, frequently dropping short and wide.

O'Brien played second fiddle to Morgan but he too eventually opened his arms, smacking John Davison over midwicket for a huge six to bring up a 60-ball fifty. Ireland only needed a further 70 from 21 overs and cruised home with 54 balls to spare, giving Canada a much-needed wakeup call. Their fielding, in particular, lacked spark and they were quickly put on the backfoot by the unerring placement of Morgan and the farmyard-whacking of O'Brien.

Ireland's performance in the field was by no means flawless, however. John Davison survived a couple of near-misses with his favoured lofted drives and was dropped by Kevin O'Brien in his follow-through when on 23. In between, Davison unleashed his usual array of savage drives and an extraordinary pull off Pete Connell which knocked the batsman off his balance. Geoff Barnett top-scored with 49 but Canada were guilty of poor shot selection, and Ireland clawed back the momentum impressively in the second half of their innings, reducing them from 174 for 4 to 220 all out. Three impressively slick run-outs iced Ireland's cake, and again Boyd Rankin bowled with genuine pace and bounce.

  • Calm Morgan steers Ireland home

    Eoin Morgan's mature and calculated 84, and a free-spirited 89 from Kevin O'Brien, led Ireland to a convincing six-wicket win, condemning Canada to their first loss of the tournament. Though both sides are already through to the Super 8s, which get underw

Ireland 2nd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st10GC WilsonWTS Porterfield
2nd0EJG MorganWTS Porterfield
3rd32NJ O'BrienEJG Morgan
4th0EJG MorganAR Cusack
5th181EJG MorganKJ O'Brien

ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier (ICC Trophy)

Super Sixes
TEAMMWLPTNRR
WI54180.472
AFG53260.302
ZIM52250.42
SCOT52250.243
IRE52340.346
UAE5142-1.95
Group A
TEAMMWLPTNRR
WI44081.171
IRE43161.479
UAE4224-1.177
NL4132-0.709
PNG4040-0.865
Group B
TEAMMWLPTNRR
ZIM43071.035
SCOT43070.855
AFG41320.038
NEPAL4132-0.893
HKG4132-1.121