Ireland cruise to 8 wicket win over Kenya
Ian Callender (Irish Daily Mail)
The gulf in class between Ireland and Kenya was highlighted as William Porterfield’s side completed a crushing eight wicket win in the second Twenty international in Mombasa yesterday.
Paul Stirling with an unbeaten 65 – he was also the only bowler to take two wickets – eased Ireland to their victory target of 132 with eight wickets and 15 balls to spare.
Indeed, while Stirling and Porterfield were adding 63 for the first wicket it looked as if no-one else would be needed. But then Porterfield drilled one straight to cover and Kevin O’Brien was bamboozled by the slow left arm spin of Hiren Varaiya.
But Gary Wilson hit three fours in a run-a-ball 22 to prove he can play a big part with the bat when the serious business starts in the UAE in three weeks time.
Ireland were forced to make an enforced change when Alex Cusack pulled up with a groin strain and he joined Ed Joyce and Boyd Rankin on the sidelines. That allowed a first game on tour for Nigel Jones although much like Andrew White, on his 200th appearance for Ireland, his contribution was negligible.
At least Jones held a catch, one of four taken in the Kenya innings and this time none was
dropped. The latest clue to Ireland’s thinking was the role given to Max Sorensen, the 26 year old South African who made his full debut on Wednesday. In the absence of Rankin he was given the new ball and he returned to bowl the last two overs as well. His figures may be the most expensive on paper but he was by no means the worst bowler on view.
John Mooney was also given three overs – he had bowled only five in total in his first 26 T20 matches – and Kevin O’Brien was given his first bowl of the tour. It may be only two wins against Kenya but it is all looking rosy for Ireland, once again.
At the start of the day, White was given a guard of honour by his team-mates and they applauded him as the Instonians all-rounder took the field. He doffed his cap and was, rightly suitably proud of his achievement, only the second Ireland player to reach that landmark after his close friend, Kyle McCallan.
“Someone told Kyle that he was the first Irish person to reach 200 caps in any sport, so I am very proud,” said White. “But it’s irrelevant if I catch Kyle, because Kevin (O’Brien four years his junior) will overtake us both with the number of matches we are playing.”