Ireland beat Jamaica in low scoring encounter

Sun, Apr 11, 2010 10:57 AM

Ireland beat Jamaica in low scoring encounter
Jamaica suffered its first defeat in the Jamaica Cricket Festival, after going down by seven runs to Ireland in its Twenty20 clash at the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium on Saturday.

The hosts limped to 120-9 in its 20 overs, in response to Ireland's 127 all out. Ireland's score which appeared at first to be an easy target for the Jamaicans, who however failed in their chase after a miserable batting display.

After winning the toss and deciding to take first strike, Ireland found themselves in early trouble, losing the wicket of Niall O'Brien for eight, bowled by Andrew Richardson in the second over. His opening partner, Paul Stirling (18), went soon afterwards when he was caught by Danza Hyatt off the bowling of Bevan Brown in the fourth over. Stirling managed a four and a six in his innings that lasted 17 balls.

Andre Botha (7) and Alex Cusack (7) were removed in quick succession of each other, both falling to paceman, Krishmar Santokie, to leave the Irish reeling on 49-4 after six overs. Captain William Porterfield, who made 14 runs before he was stumped by Carlton Baugh off the bowling of Odean Brown and Gary Wilson, who was bowled by Hyatt for a neat 15, put together a much needed 31-run partnership to steady the innings before Wilson departed in the 12th over.

Porterfield followed suit in the next over with an additional two runs posted on the scoreboard as the Ireland players continued to struggle under stiff Jamaican pressure in the field. Bevan Brown ended with figures of 3-26 off his four overs to lead the Jamaican charge while Santokie added 2-24 in support. John Mooney struck a six and a four to push the Irish to their eventual total and in the process lifted their strike rate to just over six runs per over.

The Jamaicans never really got going in their reply and kept losing wickets at key intervals on the back of impressive fielding by the Irish players and poor shot selection from the local batsmen. Brenton Parchment went in the first over for five runs, caught at mid-off by Cusack off the bowling of Peter Connell and when Jon Ross Campbell (6) and Danza Hyatt (18) followed soon afterwards with the score on 45-3 in the seventh over, it became clear that it wasn't going to be an easy outing for the home side.

Odean Brown, who was dropped by Stirling in the cover region on 12, registered a run-a-ball knock of 20, consisting a massive six, but there was little application from the other batsmen as the Jamaicans crumbled to their first defeat of the JCF.

Coach Junior Bennett, blamed the approach of his batsmen towards the total for the defeat. "Our top half didn't do too well. The wicket was slow so if we were rotating (the strike) a little earlier in the game we would have gotten those runs," said Bennett.

"We bowled well based on the conditions because chasing that target we really should have gotten those runs - but we went for too many big shots and if the ball isn't coming on you're going to pay the price."

In the meantime, Ireland's Phil Simmons was pleased with the fighting spirit displayed by his charges and welcomed the win as it continued its preparations towards the ICC World Twenty20, which get underway across the region on April 30.

"We didn't bat too well but we showed in the field that we can come out and fight hard and at the end of the day we came out on top. It's the start of the Twenty20 and it's good to start with a win,"

Simmons said. "I'm very pleased that we came and fought and showed that we will fight to the end, that's the most pleasing thing about this game."

Earlier, Jamaica beat Canada by four wickets in a 50-over contest as it labouring past the paltry target of 149 in the 29th over.

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