Thursday, 27 October 2011

The day when the World was introduced to Irish cricket, part 2...

So Ireland were very close to chasing the biggest total of their careers.

If Ireland could score 133 then they would virtually knock out Pakistan from the 2007 Cricket World cup and create one of the biggest cricketing upsets of all time but Ireland had never been in this situation before, Ireland would come up against some of the best bowlers in the game who have been here before and are very experienced.

So out comes the two Irish openers in Jeremy Bray the man who scored 115* against Zimbabwe in the famous tie of the World Cup, and the other opener was the future Irish Captain in William Porterfield, their job was to keep things steady and not to lose early wickets, the rate wasn't a question but losing wickets would put too much pressure on the middle order.

Pakistan needed early wickets and after only 4 overs into the innings they made the breakthrough,
Mohammad Sami with an inswinger to Bray and Bray is given out LBW and it's the early wicket Pakistan needed but they still knew they needed to bowl Ireland out, if Ireland batted the overs they would win, and in comes the future England player in Eoin Morgan to replace Ed Joyce who is now playing for England could he make the difference?.

After facing only five balls Mohammad Sami had Morgan out LBW and Morgans struggle with the pace of the bowlers is over and Ireland are in a bit of trouble and are now 15/2, and in comes the eager Niall O'Brien and they had got a nice partnership going with some lovely boundaries being hit especially from the bat of Niall O'Brien but mostly it was the rotating of strike that got them both going.

Mohammad Hafeez was into his second over of his second spell when disaster struck Ireland and the 15 overs partnership was broken when Hafeez sent one through quicker to Porterfield and Porterfield could only go back in his crease and get a big inside edge into his leg stump and with that Ireland were now 62/3 but still thanks to that last partnership Ireland were holding steady but would need another partnership going to see them home.

In comes the Andre Botha the man with very impressive bowling figures in the first innings now could he do his magic with the bat also?, and during their partnership he didn't get much of the strike and it was to tell when he faced his six delivery from Mohammad Sami but this was not a good decision at all by the umpire and it could end up bringing Pakistan back into this game, the ball was heading down leg and Botha threw his bat down the left side of his front leg and the ball hit the right and flew to short leg and after much appealing and shouting the finger goes up and this is a horrible decision but there is nothing Botha can do, he has to go and Ireland are now at 70/4.

And in comes Kevin O'Brien and the two brothers are in together and Ireland need 63 from 26 overs at the required run rate of 2.42 so the run rate was not an issue, they just needed to keep wickets in hand and not to put too much pressure on the tail, and the partnership had started to form and now they have to leave the field for bad light but 27.3 overs have been bowled and the minimum overs of 20 have been bowled and so the game will be decided today and Ireland are ahead on duckworth lewis but the officials decide that 35 minutes later it's now okay for play to continue and out come the batsmen and the Pakistan fielders.

All had looked well for Ireland till they took the pace of the ball with Shoaib Malik and the 10 over partnership between the two brothers was broken and it was the huge wicket of Niall O'Brien he had just used his feet to come down to Shoaib Malik and hit a massive six over long-on and he tried to do it again but this time he was nowhere near the pitch of the ball and Kamran Akmal makes the stumping when Niall is left stranded down the wicket and that is a huge wicket for Pakistan but he has caused a lot of damage to Pakistan while he was there with his score of 72 and Ireland only need 20 runs now from 13 overs.

The new batsman is Andrew white and his first ball is whacked for four but the celebration was not to last long and Iftikhar Anjum and he was deceived by the delivery and could only spoon it to Hafeez at short leg and this is not what Ireland needed, they needed cool heads to see this home, so in comes Kyle McCallan and Iftikhar Anjum has got McCallan out for a duck and the delivery forces McCallan to go back in his crease and he can only get a thick edge to Younis Khan and Pakistan would feel right back in this game and Ireland are now 113/7 with 15 runs needed from 12 overs.

In comes the Irish Captain Trent Johnston and the pressure is on and they handle it brilliantly with a seven over partnership of great strokeplay and under immense pressure they go into the 42nd over needing 2 runs from 6 overs and from the second ball Kevin O'Brien takes a quick single and the scores are tied and Ireland are nearly there and it's left to the Captain Trent Johnston to see it home, and Azhar Mahmood comes into Johnston and with a huge swing clubs the ball out of the ground over long-on and Ireland have done it, Ireland have chased the total and created cricketing history by beating Pakistan and now shown up on the World stage, and people will know all about Irish cricket...

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