Ireland rebound with thumping win
Ireland 72 for no loss (Porterfield 56*) beat Kenya 71 (Mishra 28, Rankin 3-20, Cusack 2-5) by ten wickets
Ireland bounced back from their day one disaster to trounce Kenya at the Dubai Cricket Stadium, where seam held sway at the ICC World Twenty20 qualifier. It was a near perfect display by Phil Simmons's team, which ran out ten-wicket winners in the eighth over.
It was almost an old fashioned win for Ireland, who have been hitherto shuffling bowlers faster than a Macau croupier. Instead Porterfield put it up to his all-format openers of Boyd Rankin and Trent Johnston, who responded brilliantly. In all he used just five bowlers. England A bowler Rankin professes to be fitter than he's ever been and was rewarded with the Man-of-the-Match award for a blistering opening spell.
Taking a tighter line, he hurried the Kenya batsmen and blew away the top order with three wickets in his first two overs. Half his runs against column was accounted for by wides. "I'm in the team to get wickets early on and it was great to play my part today", Rankin said. "It was nice to get a bit of pace and bounce on a slow pitch.
The ball did a bit early on and Trent Johnson's bowling recaptured a lot of his verve. Swinging the ball away from the right handers, His first two overs went for just two runs. "it was good to put in a solid performance today," Johnston said. "Our backs were to wall and we didn't want to be facing two defeats."
Kenya, smarting from losing to Scotland, won the toss and opted to bat. Alex Obanda edged his second ball off Rankin to Gary Wilson, and in his next over he yorked Duncan Allan and then saw Alex Cusack make a fine diving catch to dismiss Collins Obuya. The Kenya skipper stood his ground until the umpires conferred on the catch.
Tommy Mishra smacked a couple of fours at the end of Rankin's third over, and Nehemiah Odhiambo hit one off the next ball from Johnston, but remarkably they could only manage one more boundary against the Ireland's medium pacers. Alex Cusack is a canny bowler in T20 and his little seamers foxed the batsmen as he returned 3-0-5-2.
There are some bowlers who would go missing after conceding 24 off their only over the day before, but Johnny Mooney put his Namibian nightmare behind him in an economical spell which ended with a maiden, his first in T20 for Ireland. Only Mishra made it into double figures, his 28 off 34 balls included 3 fours. He fell trying to hit Mooney over long on, and next ball David Obuya edged to the keeper.
From the first ball of Ireland's innings, which Porterfield drive to the fence, Kenya looked a beaten side. Going through the motions they went down with a whopping 76 balls to spare. For once it wasn't Paul Stirling that went on the attack, as his captain enjoyed the loose bowling. The scoreboard after five overs read Stirling 1, Porterfield 36, a rare reversal of roles.
Duncan Allan's only over went for 21, as Ireland passed 50 in 5.4 overs, and Porterfield hoicked the ball into the fifty-strong Blarney Army of travelling supporters. All that was left was for Porterfield to race past fifty, which came in 23 balls -- the fastest half century for Ireland in all forms of the game. It was also his first in the shorter format.
Kenya have disappointed here and now face a win-every-game order to have a chance of making the ICC World Twenty20 finals.
Edited by Tariq Engineer