|Date||Wednesday 22 February 2012|
|Venue||Monmbasa Sports Club, Mombasa|
|Result||Ireland won by 6 wickets|
|Type||Twenty 20 Official|
|Summary||Kenya 107 all out (Overs 20, GH Dockrell 3-15) Ireland 109-4 closed (Overs 15.3)|
This was the first match in a three match Twenty20 International series betwen Kenya and Ireland. After this comprehensive six wickets victory, Ireland were in ninth place of the top 11 sides in the T20 Championship table , above both Afghanistan and Zimbabwe.
Andrew White (on 199 caps), Gary Wilson and Nigel Jones were the squad members to miss out but the selection committee had promised to ring the changes over the next couple of weeks to ensure they knew their strongest XI for their first match at the World Twenty20 qualifiers in Dubai on March 13.
George Dockrell was given the new ball and for the fourth time in five innings he took a wicket in his first over. He followed up with another in his second and one in his last to finish with figures of three for 15, good enough to win him the man of the match, as Kenya were bowled out in exactly 20 overs for 107.
Ireland, with their now customary indiscipline, carelessly lost three wickets in the first six overs of their reply but a fourth wicket stand of 47 between Kevin O’Brien and Ed Joyce righted the ship and John Mooney, with three successive boundaries, hurried Ireland to the winning post with four and a half overs to spare.
It wasn’t all plain sailing, even for Joyce and O’Brien. Both were dropped, the former England ODI international on just two, at slip, and Kevin, much closer to home, on 23, on the cover boundary. But on a day when the fielding was a mix of the brilliant and the downright ugly, the dropped catches evened themselves out as Alex Cusack had spilled a sitter at square leg when the dangerous Tamnay Mishra was on six and the spell even reached the normally faultless Ireland captain; William Porterfield dropping Shem Ngoche late in the innings.
Rory McCann, playing his first game of the tour behind the stumps, also got off to a bad start when he missed a straightforward stumping off Mishra, which was to cost 30 runs, but he showed off his talent in the very next over with a spectacular stop down the leg side and never looked back.
Rankin shared the new ball with Dockrell and enjoyed the satisfaction of that rare commodity in a T20 international, a wicket maiden. He was not so happy with his third over, though, when the Cusack miss was followed by a pulled six.
Trent Johnston was forced to make do with two overs in the middle of the innings, which also ended with a maximum hit as Max Sorensen stepped up to the plate and in an impressive three overs claimed his first international wicket to a spectacular catch by Joyce. The Dubliner, caught the ball at deep mid-wicket but knew he was going to step over the boundary so he flicked the ball up and caught it again when he had stepped back inside the rope. The batsman couldn’t believe it and there was a long delay before the umpires confirmed the dismissal.
Two balls later, Porterfield was at his brilliant best to run out Ragheb Ali and reduce Kenya to 88 for seven and Ireland were enjoying a gentle comeback in their first Twenty20 international for 21 months.
Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
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