Ireland scored a thrilling five wickets victory over the South African Academy side at Eglinton yesterday, levelling the one-day series at two each.
Peter Davy and Barry Archer were the heroes of the great chase after the visitors 258-5 with the Pembroke star being caught at backward point an agonising three runs short of a maiden century for Ireland. He faced only 112 deliveries, hitting 11 of them for four and four more for six in a fine show of aggressive batting. Archer played foil for most of this great second wicket stand of 184, scoring 67 from 106 deliveries and making the most of two lives when he could have been stumped and run out before he had reached his half-century.
Ireland's reply to the big total, which should have been at least 20 less if the fielding had been tighter, got off to a bad start when Jason Molins shouldered arms and missed the first delivery of the innings by Tyron Henderson and was out for a duck. It has to be said that Ireland's task was made a little easier by the fact that the South Africans two best seam bowlers, Dewald Pretorius and Andre Nel were rested.
At the halfway point the visitors had been 93-2 and Ireland were 122-1 at the same and the only hiccups to the march for victory were when Davy, Archer and Jonty Rhodes fell in the 35th, 37th and 38 overs leaving the score 193-4. By this stage Angus Dunlop and Kyle McCallan were in the middle and McCallan's 15 backing up Dunlop at his best nicely rounded off his day as our best bowler. In the end it was Dunlop and Allan Rutherford who drove Ireland home with the skipper unbeaten on 39 from 32 deliveries (three sixes and two fours) and the wicket-keeper hitting the winning four through the gully off Murray Creed in the second last over.