The record books will read mundanely that Ireland beat the South Africans on faster scoring rate at Rathmines yesterday. In fact, however, had the match progressed to its normal conclusion a home win was also the most likely outcome. When the heavens opened with seven overs remaining of Ireland's innings, ICU expert on Duckworth Lewis method of calculating weather interrupted matches, Dr Murray Power, cut a volume of pages down to size to pronounce that Ireland were 15 runs to the good. This was the first time an Irish match had been decided under Duckworth Lewis.
The South African Academy side, assisted by Test star Pat Symcox, scored 207 for eight in 40 overs, while Ireland were 169 after 33 overs when the very angry sky dropped anchor. In simple terms, Ireland were in a very strong position needing only 39 runs to win from seven overs with six wickets in hand and Angus Dunlop and Barry Archer at full throttle.
Conditions were difficult all day after a delayed start with Greg Molins, 3-41, Kyle McCallan, 3-29 and Barry Archer, 2-35, the pick of the Irish bowlers.
For the first time Ireland's top order got away to a good start and Peter Davy and Kyle McCallan had knocked up 54 before the latter's departure. Stephen Smith is in a bit of a trough and notched up only nine but Ireland suddenly sparked into life when Jonty Rhodes smashed 32 from 20 deliveries including three sixes and this knock proved critical at the finish.