Porterfield proud of Irish effort
Ireland has reached the final of the InterContinental Cup after defeating Kenya by an innings and 65 runs in a thrilling finish.
Skipper William Porterfield was delighted with the manner of the win saying, 'That was right up there in terms of performance with our fightback win over Namibia last week. It was a different type of pressure this time around. We batted superbly to post such a huge total and were able to set attacking fields and experiment from then on. I thought the bowlers stuck to their task, and it was good for me to have so many options, offering a different kind of challenge to the Kenyan batsmen. They made it tough for us, but we got there, and we're all justifiably proud of our achievements. I don't think many teams could have won away from home twice in African conditions with so much at stake.'
Vice captain Kyle McCallan beamed, 'That was some result on a wicket that gave the bowlers very little help. Strangely enough, it played better in the second innings than it did in the first. It was certainly a very tiring few days for us in the field, but the result makes it all worthwhile. I'm looking forward to playing in another final.'
Resuming the final day on 146 for 2, Kenya lost the crucial wicket of Steve Tikolo, brilliantly caught and bowled by Trent Johnston for 47 with just 13 runs added. Regan West then had Maurice Ouma well caught close in by Alex Cusack for just a single with the total on 164 as the Irish continued to apply the pressure. Debutant Seren Waters also departed with the total on 164, giving skipper William Porterfield the easiest of catches. Waters had held up the Irish charge with a fine 75 from 163 balls, which included 11 boundaries.
That was to be the end of the Irish success for a further 39 overs, as Thomas Odoyo and Rakep Patel put up a tremendous rearguard action, adding 74 for the 6th wicket. Opening bowler Boyd Rankin got a crucial breakthough, coming around the wicket to have Patel well caught by keeper Niall O' Brien for 32.
The Irish still had to work hard, as Odoyo found another willing ally in Jimmy Kamande, who added a further 56 in 21 overs, before Odoyo edged West to Botha at slip. Odoyo scored 61 from 168 balls, including four boundaries.
The introduction of Andre Botha into the attack produced immediate dividends, as he removed both Hiren Varaiya and Lameck Onyango in quick succession to leave Ireland on the brink of victory. With just over 20 minutes remaining in the day, the Kenyan resistance was finally ended as Peter Ongondo was trapped lbw by West for four, with their final total being 327 all out in 135.5 overs.
Kamande was left stranded on a brave 42 not out, which came in 142 deliveries, and contained 7 boundaries. The wicket takers for Ireland were Trent Johnston (4-43), Regan West (3-81), Andre Botha (2-5), and Boyd Rankin (1-49).
The final against Namibia will take place in Port Elizabeth from October 30 until November 3.
Meanwhile Cricket Ireland has announced that it has fined and severely reprimanded Niall O'Brien for misconduct . O'Brien was found guilty of using foul and abusive language during the recent ICC InterContinental Cup match against Namibia . Due consideration was noted of the provocation he experienced, but it was pointed out to him that, as an international professional cricketer his actions were completely unacceptable and would not be tolerated.
Cricket Ireland acted after the ICC was unable to do so when a delay in the reporting process meant the player could no longer be charged under the ICC Code of Conduct
Commenting on the sanction, Cricket Ireland Chief Executive Warren Deutrom said: "Obviously, we were disappointed with Niall's behaviour in Namibia , and although ICC was unable to act in this instance, we felt it was important to remind Niall of his responsibilities and swift internal action was taken resulting in a fine and a stern warning about his future behaviour."
The punishment was arrived at following a meeting of the Touring Disciplinary Committee, which comprised Phil Simmons (Coach), Kieran O'Reilly (Physio), and Roy Torrens (Manager).
In a busy day off the field of play, Ireland will play in Group A of the Friends Provident Trophy in 2009, along with Hampshire, Nottinghamshire, Worcestershire and Leicestershire. The games will be played on a home and away basis, with the top two progressing to the quarter finals. No dates have yet been confirmed.
ICC also announced that the 2009 World Cup Qualifiers will be switched from the UAE to South Africa , subject to acceptance by South African Board. The Emirates Cricket Board, the appointed host for the above event, had written to the ICC stating it would be unable to stage the tournament in April 2009 because not all venues required would be ready in time.