Ireland's road to T20 Glory.
Ireland opening their campaign with a banana skin fixture. Namibia would choose to bat vs a well fancied Irish side. However things didn't go exactly to plan for the Irish with Nambia posting 160/8. Ireland with their batting strength, would still fancy themselves to chase it down. However losing Stirling to a duck, after he was run out. While Joyce and Cusack used up vital deliveries before they to fell. They showed a good fightback when Gary Wilson and John Mooney got together. However it would prove to be too much as Ireland lost their first game by a measly 4 runs.
''van der Westhuizen Rocks Ireland to Early Setback''
Ireland had Kenya up next.
Despite their recent whitewash of Kenya in a T20 series in Kenya. Much would be expected of the Kenyans to compete with Ireland. Kenya like Namibia won the toss and decided to bat, they also caught Ireland in a dominant mood.
With some aggressive bowling and some extremely tidy spin bowling by Dockrell, Ireland had knocked Kenya over for 71. With all bowlers running through the helpless batting of Kenya. Ireland would hammer home the victory with a crushing 10 wicket victory. With Porterfield blasting his way into the record books with 50(23). That knock being the fastest half century in all forms of the game for Ireland
''Ireland Push Side Feeble Kenya''
Ireland then had the Italians up next. While they pulverised Kenya, this would almost prove to be a very costly game for Ireland. Italy had decided to bat first and things looked good for Ireland, when they had restricted Italy to 100/7. With a bizarre knock from their new boy Di Venuto 23(44).
Ireland looked in relative comfort at 60/2, then a collapse of epic proportions. Would leave Ireland with two wickets in hand going into the last over, while still needing 7 runs. However Wilson was able to dispatch Northcote for four of the 2nd ball, followed by a quickly run two, then another boundary to see Ireland home. Wilson would prove to be a shining light for Ireland throughout the tournament.
''Ireland Survive the Italian Job''
Ireland the Americans up next. Ireland deciding to bat first, while the decision looked a bad one at 32/3. With the bowling of Elmore Hutchinson proving to be difficult to get away. However two of Ireland's most experienced players got together and put on 86 for the 4th wicket. With Ed Joyce eventually falling on 46 and Kevin O'Brien 47. While Wilson once again performing another cameo with 19(10) and Mooney 12(7) to guide Ireland to a decent 160/6.
Ireland had cause to be worried, when Taylor tonked Johnston for two boundaries in the opening over. However a collapse was to happen, with the Americans unable to play the impressive Rankin. By the time Rankin finished his four overs, America had fallen to 52/7. With Rankin ending up the (MOTM) with figures of 4-1-9-4. America got to 96 all out, with Ireland winning by 64 runs.
''America Inept Against Rankin''
Ireland had their most tricky game next, vs a very determined and gritty Scottish side. Ireland got away to their usual losing a wicket in the 1st over. With Stirling getting caught at slip. Then Porterfield getting bowled in the 2nd over. Cusack would respond with four consecutive boundaries, to ease the pressure significantly. Then Joyce would hit an impressive six in the 5th, on his way to a (MOTM) performance. Wilson again performing for Ireland with a well played 26(26). However with Ireland on 142/5, a big final over was needed. Joyce delivered what he was asked to do, tonking Sharif for consecutive six's to bring Ireland to 159/5 and himself 78(58).
The chase for Scotland got away to a bad start, with Berrington being bowled by TJ. Scotland would then lose Mommsen to TJ as Ireland applied the pressure. The runs weren't coming easily until the 9th over, when Sorensen was smoked for consecutive six's. However Porterfield threw the ball to Kevin O'Brien. Despite him being dispatched for boundaries, he came back brilliantly to dismiss Watts. Then in his 3rd over he had Flannigan and Coetzer out, as Ireland won the game by 18 runs.
''Ireland Remain Cool in Victory Over the Scots''
Ireland were to face Uganda next. With Ireland being sent in to bat, it looked a very unwise move with Ireland posting 179/5. With most batsmen scoring heavy volumes of runs. While the bowling would prove to be as dominant. With Uganda showing no resistance to the Irish attack. Much of their scorecard resembled a telephone number, as they were all out for 97. The significant win of 82 runs, boosted Ireland's already impressive net run rate.
''Ireland Cruise to Victory''
Ireland had Oman next up, which Ireland were expected to defeat easily. Ireland decided to bat and with Gary Wilson's 52(38) and Kevin O'Briens 32(16), giving Ireland the boost to reach 160/5. Ireland had managed to dismiss most of their batsmen except one with ease. Jatinder Singh hung on for a gritty 56*(55), however Ireland strolled home in 2nd gear by 44 runs.
''Ireland Pound Further Misery Upon Oman''
Ireland were to face a tricky set of games because of their 1st game loss to Namibia. This time it was the Dutch, with Porterfield sending them in to bat. While Kervezee produced a fine 56(48) and Cooper 26(24). However 114/7 was the fruits of all their hard work, as Ireland controlled the innings. Porterfield got away with consecutive boundaries, before he would fall in the 5th over, with 17(18). Joyce would anchor the innings with Stirling and Wilson both falling in consecutive balls to Swart. If the Dutch felt they had a foot back in the game, Kevin O'Brien would dismiss all thoughts of a collapse. With his 30*(22) seeing Ireland comfortably home by 7 wickets.
''Ireland Show Who's Boss''
Next up was the Canadians.
Canada had decided to bat first, with TJ removing Patel inside the first over. Then Gunasekera would send Rankin to the ropes twice. While Kumar would dish out the same treatment to Sorensen, before he would fall to TJ in the 7th. Hansra would follow him the next over, when Dockrell had him bowled.
Wickets were falling quick, this time Dockrell got Gunasekera out. He tried to sweep and got a top edge, which was brilliantly taken by Stirling. Then Cheema and Baidwan would also depart, with virtually no damage done to the bowlers figures. Bhatti would hit Sorensen for a boundary, however he to would fall the very next ball. A brief cameo by Gordon added some runs, although it wasn't going to be enough. As Canada posted a dismal 106/8.
Ireland start with 15 from the 1st over, as Stirling sent Osinde around the park. Then he could continue his onslaught against Osinde in the 3rd. With two more fours and a glorious six over deep midwicket.
Porterfield wouldn't be held back either, hitting Cheema for four boundaries in the 5th over. Ireland were cruising to another victory. Stirling hit Siddiqui for four over extra-cover to bring his half-century up. As the young Irish batsman breaks the fastest Irish fifty again.
Stirling would finish the game for Ireland inside the 10th over. When he chipped Hussain for four over midwicket, as Ireland gained another impressive victory.
''The Irish March to Another Simple Victory''
''Ireland Find their Dutch Courage''
Ireland had a chance to get revenge against Namibia next. It would prove to a demolition job, as Namibia decided to bat first. With the runs not coming freely the pressure was on, TJ getting the tournament flyer of van Schoor out for 1(5). While van der Westhuizen crashed TJ for six over extra cover, he would respond by getting him out next ball. Trying to pull the shot, he just pulled it feebly to midwicket. Then Porterfield took the catch of the tournament when Williams was next to fall. Despite some late hitting from Opperman 26*(15), Namiba could only post an awful 94/6.
Ireland responded in style, with Porterfield sending consecutive opening balls to the ropes for four. He would continue on his way, before falling in the 5th over to Klazinga. Stirling wouldn't stop with the fall of Portefield, as he sent Klazinga for consecutive boundaries. Then Joyce showing his top class with a glorious cover drive. Stirling would bring his half century up from only 26 balls. Then Stirling would end the match in style when he reverse swept Opperman for four, between backward point and short third man.
Sealing Ireland's place in the 2012 T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.
''Ireland take Revenge on Poor Shell Shocked Namibia''