ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2011-12 March 18, 2012

Joyce leads Ireland to crucial win over Scotland

The Report by Ger Siggins

Ireland 159 for 5 (E Joyce 78*, Haq 2-18) beat Scotland 142 for 7 (K Coetzer 62, K O'Brien 3-35) by 17 runs

A fine unbeaten 78 by Ed Joyce guided Ireland towards the knockout phase of the ICC World Twenty20 qualifier with a comfortable win over Scotland. With one defeat each before the game, the Celtic nations were vying for second spot in Group B behind Namibia, and although Ireland came good, they now have some serious injury concerns.

John Mooney is out of the rest of the tournament after suffering a torn hamstring while fellow allrounder Alex Cusack is a doubt for the next game. Mooney chased thirty yards and dived to try to catch Preston Mommsen, but fell awkwardly on the rope and instantly signalled for assistance. He remained prone for ten minutes before the Irish coach, Phill Simmons, and physio shouldered him slowly to the dressing room. An announcement on a replacement will be made on Monday.

Porterfield had to juggle his options further when Cusack limped off with a niggle in his groin after bowling two overs. Ireland are well stocked with allrounders though, and Kevin O'Brien was able to step up for his first bowl of the tournament and responded with 3 for 35 off four overs.

Ireland had a dismal start, with Paul Stirling edging tentatively to slip off the first ball he faced from Matthew Parker. The brisk Safayeen Sharif bowled a loosening widish first ball to William Porterfield, only for the Ireland captain to drag it back on to his stumps. It was a dismissal identical to how he fell to James Anderson during the last World Cup.

From 8 for 2 Ireland regrouped around Joyce, with Cusack cutting loose in an over from Parker with four consecutive boundaries. "Alex played a really good innings - it wasn't that big but hitting 18 off one over at that stage took the pressure off," Joyce said. Cusack was stumped off Majid Haq, but Ireland's middle order came good once again. Kevin O'Brien and Gary Wilson upped the run-rate with some clean hitting, Wilson crashing Berrington onto the third deck of the VIP area.

Scotland got their field right in the closing overs and boundaries dried up. There had been just one four in more than six overs when Joyce took guard for the last two balls of the innings. He hit Safayaan Sharif's slower ball over square leg for six, and followed up straight and into the wind for another. "I don't often hit sixes so i think those last two balls were crucial", Joyce said. "Instead of facing seven and a half an over they needed eight, so those hits were useful."

Strangely, for a player who has been one of the most prolific in 50-over cricket in recent English seasons, this was his first fifty in Twenty20, in his 66th game."I always found Twenty20 a hard game to play, as you never know whether to stick or twist", he said.

Scotland's job was all the harder after three balls when Trent Johnston found his way through Richie Berrington's defence. Berrington has batted consistently in the tournament, and had scored a match-winning century when the teams last met over fifty overs. Two balls after Mooney's injury Mommsen tried to pull Johnston and was trapped in front.

The sideshow of the tournament's leading bowler, Boyd Rankin, and leading batsman, Calum McLeod -- teammates at Warwickshire -- promised much. Rankin was the decisive winner here, troubling McLeod twice before the batsman made a mess of his footwork trying to pull and was given out.

Kyle Coetzer - captaining in place of the injured Gordon Drummond - came together with Fraser Watts but after eight overs the asking rate was above 10. Coetzer put Max Sorensen's first two balls over the rope on the straight and made his day even worse when Sorenson dropped him badly at long off.

The pair had put on 78 off 11 overs when Trent Johnston caught Watts off O'Brien, and next ball Jan Stander was sent back, fatally, by Coetzer. The captain completed a 46-ball fifty with a six off Stirling but the run-rate continued to mount and when O'Brien held a sharp return catch in the 19th over it was over as a contest.

Porterfield was resolute in his assessment: "If we win every game from today we'll qualify. That's what we're planning to do."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 19, 2012, 22:16 GMT

    @tatactg - As I said on another post, I think you will find not every side has 11/11 playing eleven a full side of players born in the country. Even England can only boast at best 10 out of 11. With an Irish Eoin Morgan, Ireland has plenty of youth coming through, and hopefully they will field a full 11/11 Irish side, but compared to all the other associates were a leading light by far. Please don't think it's just an Irish problem, as I said the current Holland side has 3/4/5/6 non national players. Bare with us as in Ireland...

  • Dummy4 on March 19, 2012, 22:13 GMT

    @tatactg, one big flaw in your comment. The ICC don't give any money, or literally no money. Even in a recent statement by the head of Irish Cricket, he said Ireland receive no extra money now than they did 10 years ago or before that.

    So if Ireland wins every game it plays it receives ''x'' amount, and if we were to lose all our games we still receive ''x'' amount. The ICC are of no help what so ever. In the recent idea of banning associates from the 2015 WC, they finally reversed their decision. However they added more associates to the 50 over format but removed them from the T20 format. How is the ICC trying to help associates when the top associates who have carried a shining light for the remainder are getting no help.

    Rankin sadly is coming into form and England will take him and Dockrell is world class or will be. McCarter is being named the next Brett Lee and Getgate is also highly regarded but they're also young and playing them needs to be done senibly not all at once...

  • Ajay on March 19, 2012, 13:27 GMT

    looks like Namibia and Afghanistan are going to the big tournament! but really loved how Ireland and Netherlands went about their business.. very close but i do think these four teams are gonna be the next big thing. Cheers

  • reazul on March 19, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    @Colm Mooney Don't fret mate,Ireland does have capable Irish batsmen but I am just asking where are the capable Irish bowlers?A hit & miss Rankin and young dockrell is all they got.This is a big hole they are trying to overcome by hiring bowlers from county circuit(ancestry is not enough, we like to see bowlers from Irish youth development system - Ireland is getting good money from ICC for that).Since Ireland is trying to become a full member/test nation it is important that they field an all Irish 11 to convince everyone that they have enough quality,playing #s and bench strength to be a worthy full member.that is all we are asking for - there is no spiteful intent or malice behind the comments.

  • Dummy4 on March 19, 2012, 10:55 GMT

    Tatactg, you are so spiteful it must hurt you. Well if he got the wickets that mattered than 35 is fine with me. So us winning was in no part down to Ed Joyce scoring 78 from 58?, Murtagh has Irish blood. Tell me who it is you support?. So we can see your side, and how great they must be...

  • Dummy4 on March 19, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    I know but samiullah shinwari played much better then joyce as well cos joyce only made 78 and shamiullah made 61 runs and toke 4 wickets and this shows that how talented played he is.

  • Dummy4 on March 19, 2012, 10:11 GMT

    Afghanistan is much better team then Ireland. Media and ICC made Ireland that much famous cos they are supporting them. Afghan are people made of love, talent, High IQ, they have prove it in the past and can prove it again and again if they are given chance and opportunity to play against full members

  • Dummy4 on March 19, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    I don't know why full ICC members and cricinfo support Ireland that much. If you go to the main page of ICC world 20 qualifiers you will see Obrain photo in front page with taken 3 for 35 runs against scotland. In the same day Afghanistan played Canada and won that match with huge margin in which Samiullah Shinwari was man of the match taking 4 wickets for just 14 runs and made 61 runs. Shinwari photo should be in front page. because he performed better then obrian.

  • reazul on March 19, 2012, 1:19 GMT

    Anyways Ireland is on their way of not qualifying.They are not going to top the group & have to play 3 taxing matches to qualify.they will be too dog tired & slip against slightly better opposition.

  • reazul on March 19, 2012, 1:05 GMT

    @Colm moony Giving 35 runs in 4 overs is hardly top bowling,but you seem to forget the start aussie johnston provided you(2/23 in 4 overs getting out Berrington and mommsen, did you forget what berrington did to ireland last year).Shame Ireland have to depend on 38 year old aussie daddy Johnston to beat scotland.6 months later it would be middlesex's Tim Murtagh (someone not developed by Irish system) who will save your blushes.If Ireland has so many great bowlers then why they are hiring bowlers murtagh & sorensen and not giving young ire bowlers like getkate,mccarter,young a chance?

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