Wilson saves the day for Ireland

Thu, Mar 15, 2012 3:24 PM

Wilson saves the day for Ireland
Ireland claimed a tight victory over Italy, on Thursday, by two wickets in the side's Group B fixture at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Gary Wilson proved to be the batsman of note for Ireland after the 26-year-old right-hander hit 30 not out to guide the team home after the top order failed against strong Italian bowling led by Damian Crowley. Wilson stabilized Ireland's run chase after the team had been set a target of 101 by Italy.

Boyd Rankin once again proved to be the in-form bowler for the side, the 27-year-old fast bowler claiming three wickets again, just as he had done yesterday in the side's victory over Kenya yesterday in Dubai.

It was a disappointing start to the morning for Alessandro Bonora's side with the top order failing to make runs against Ireland's superior bowling attack. Rankin proved key as did Paul Stirling while the newest Italian batsman to the squad, Michael di Venuto, struggled to make runs, departing for 23 after facing 44 balls.

The Italians were lucky to make 100 in its 20 overs after captain Bonora hit two sixes on his way to making 20 to ensure the side reached triple figures for the innings.

Italy's off-spinner Carl Sandri started things well for the Italians when he dismissed Kevin O'Brien for just four runs, while Gayashan Munasinghe tempted Paul Stirling to edge the ball to Patrizi behind the stumps to leave Ireland two down by the fourth over.

Ireland captain William Porterfield and Alex Cusack added to the total before the former departed to Crowley and Ed Joyce disappointed with just three runs after being stumped by Patrizi. It was then up to Wilson to corner-stone the Ireland innings to ensure a victory as wickets began to fall around him, the right-hander struck a boundary off the fourth ball of the last over to secure victory.

Wilson commented post-match: "I think some big lessons need to be learned from this game but that being said I'm still delighted that we've secured a win after our disappointment against Namibia. I'm not sure we were complacent against Italy, that certainly wasn't the case in the dressing room beforehand.

"We were impressed with Italy and knew they were going to be tough with a calibre of players in the form of Michael Di Venuto and Gareth Berg in the side. They have a good bowling attack with medium pace and tight good spinners who could maybe do some damage to Namibia when they face them. I would say this was a bit of a smash and grab by us but we will take the two points which are important to us and move on."

Bonora was visibly disappointed at the loss but gave credit to Wilson: "I think Gary Wilson played very well for Ireland and he won them the match. I really felt it was touch and go towards the end there and it could have been our match but we didn't post a competitive enough score on that pitch, we needed another 20 to 40 runs to really defend the target."

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