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Match Report
Derek Scott

After yesterday's defeat, victory against Bermuda was a must if Ireland were to be in the first two. Bermuda were the weakest of the six teams and so it proved - just about. Ireland won with eight balls to spare, after needing a run a ball in the last 20 overs. This was Ireland's fourth match against Bermuda. The first was also in Nairobi in Ireland's first ICC Trophy in 1994 and was lost. Two wins followed, the last in Ireland in 2005.

Bray had a strained groin after the match against Scotland and was rested with Carroll coming in. J. Mooney and Langford-Smith were replaced by P Mooney and Rankin. Gillespie was now the only one of the 15 who had not played.

It was warm and cloudy at Jaffrey at the 9.30 a.m. start. The venue was new to Ireland and smaller than Gymkhana. The pitch was flat but, again, slow. Ireland won the toss and decided to field first. Much of the Bermuda team had been at the ICC Trophy in Ireland in 2005. Romaine was now captain, Minors was still wicket-keeper and Leverock, the slow left arm bowler, had put on more weight!

Smith and the left-handed Minors opened for Bermuda to the bowling of Johnston and Rankin. The opening stand was 79 in 14 overs. Johnston bowled three overs and gave way to O'Brien, and Rankin only bowled two before Mooney replaced him. The 10 over score (with four bowlers used) was 62 which included 20 wides, two of O'Brien's going to the boundary. There was a "pick-up" six to Smith and he had seven fours as well. He hit two fours in an over off each of Johnston, Rankin and Mooney. After 10 overs Smith was 37 off 32 balls compared to Minors two off 30 balls! In the eighth over, bowled by Mooney, Porterfield dropped Smith (37) at cover diving in. The 50 came up in the eighth over.

Botha came on for over 11 and Smith hit his third ball for six to mid-wicket. McCallan was on for over 12, becoming the sixth bowler used. He bowled a maiden to Minors. In McCallan's next over, the 14th, Smith with a two to extra cover went to 50 out of 77 in 44 balls. Smith was out to the fifth ball of this 14th over. He was lbw on the back foot. 79-1-52. Minors had scored three singles and extras accounted for 24 runs.

Romaine came in and a power play was called after over 14. The stand with Minors started quietly but by its end had put on 80 in 19 overs. The two remaining power plays were called in succession at overs 14 and 19 and were finished by over 23. Because of this McCallan had only bowled two overs. The faster bowlers, Botha, Rankin, O'Brien and Johnston shared the 10 overs of power play.

Minor's got to 10 in over 17, hit a four in over 19, which brought up 100, and hit a slashed six over cover off Johnston in over 21. The next over was an O'Brien maiden to Romaine. In over 23, bowled by Johnston, Minors slashed another six to extra cover and hit a four to long-leg. White was on for over 25, at the end of which the score was 132, with Minors now 35. McCallan was back for over 26 and the two off-spinners bowled in tandem until 41 overs had been bowled. McCallan bowled the 30th over and Minors hit the fourth ball for six to mid-wicket. The score after 30 overs was 150 so, with only one wicket down, 300 at least must have been the Bermuda target.

With three runs off McCallan in over 32, Minors went to exactly 50 in 104 balls, and he now had 30 of them in boundaries. He added one more run and gave White a simple return catch in over 23. 159-2-51. In this stand of 80 Minors faced 69 balls to Romaine's 45. Cann was next in. In over 35, bowled by White, there was a mishap and a wicket. The ever reliable Carroll dropped Cann, when the latter was two, at long-on, an expensive miss, and Romaine was out two balls later, caught at deep mid-wicket by O'Brien. 162-3-26. His 26 came off 51 balls. Hemp, of Glamorgan, was next and at this stage 15 overs remained.

In over 36, bowled by McCallan, there was another expensive miss. Cann, when four, gave a stumping chance at 164. This miss cost 73 runs. The 40th over was McCallan's last. Hemp took 12 off it, including a six over long-on. The score after 40 overs was 190, meaning that 40 runs had been scored in the last 10. 300 did not now look possible but, in fact, 85 were scored in the last 10 overs.

McCallan's stint was now over and he ended with figures of 10-2-37-1. In over 41, Cann hit White to long-off but Carroll could not get to the catch and the ball went for four. Botha replaced McCallan for over 42, which cost 14 with a Cann six over the wicket-keeper. This brought 200 up. White finished his spell after over 43 with figures of 10-0-44-2.

In the next over, bowled by Botha, Morgan could not hold a chance from Hemp at mid-wicket which went for four. Kevin O'Brien came on for White to bowl the 45th over. Cann hit the first ball for six but McCallan caught him off the fifth ball, a skier to cover. 237-4-44. The stand of 75 came in just over 10 overs. Tucker came in with five overs left. In those five overs 37 runs were scored and four more wickets fell. Hemp gave Botha a fierce caught and bowled chance in over 46 but he was out in the next over, from O'Brien. He was caught at long-on by Carroll moving to his right. 241-5-35. Mukudden was next. O'Brien's over, the 47th, only gave up four singles. Botha bowled the 48th over. It cost 11 runs but he took a wicket. The second ball was skied to mid-wicket but White could not get in quick enough for the catch. This was Tucker who hit the next ball for six and was out off the following ball. He was bowled. 256-6-12.

Two overs remained when Jones arrived. O'Brien's 49th over cost only six. Botha had the last over. Jones took a single off the first ball. Mukudden was caught off the second. 263-7-7. Jones had crossed on the catch and was bowled by the third ball. 263-8-2. Borden took a single on the fourth ball. The fifth was a no-ball which Hurdle hit for two. He hit the next for six to long-on and finished with a two. 275 for eight, this was about 25 below par.

Botha's 10 overs produced figures of 3-74. The first four bowlers used, Johnston, Rankin, Mooney and O'Brien bowled 20 overs for 115 runs and two wickets, both taken by O'Brien. The fielding was still very good but there were missed chances and 25 runs by way of wides was too many.

Ireland started their innings at 1.50 p.m. in the sunshine. Porterfield was 50% of the innings. He faced the first ball and was there when the match was won in 48.4 overs and he was 112 not out. It was an innings of two very different phases. He reached 50 in over 22 in 65 balls with eight fours. His century did not come until over 47 in 133 balls and he had not added to his eight fours. In fact, his ninth four was the match-winning stroke. From a score of 53 up to a score of 98 he only three times scored four runs in an over and, in this period, he had a spell of 11 overs in which he scored 17 singles. Bear in mind that 118 runs were needed in 20 overs and 56 in the last 10. However in his stand of 88 with Kevin O'Brien he only faced 32 balls in a 15 over period. He was the sheet anchor and all came well at the end.

Kevin O'Brien was the middle of innings hero. His 54 was his first half-century for Ireland in his ninth innings. He faced only 57 balls and the fourth wicket stand was worth 88. Then, later, Johnston came in with 15 balls left and 20 runs needed. He got 13 of them in the four balls he faced and there were eight balls to spare at the end.

The first over, Mukudden to Porterfield, was a maiden. Then he and Carroll raced away. In 10 overs from Mukudden, Jones and Hurdle 63 were up. There were 15 extras but Porterfield hit five fours between overs 6 and 10. Carroll added a six and two fours. Then came the first of the power plays which the fielding captain could choose and this slowed matters down. Carroll was nearly caught at deep mid-on, by Mukudden, in over 13 when Jones changed ends. Jones, in his fifth over, the 15th, took the first wicket. Carroll did not get hold of a lofted drive and was caught at deepish mid-on. 78-1-28. Morgan came in and was out to the sixth ball he faced for nought. He played a wild pull shot to the medium paced Tucker and he, too, was caught at deep mid-on. 79-2-0. Niall O'Brien came in and 56 runs were put on in 56 balls, the partners sharing the balls faced and the runs. Both batsmen hit two fours. 100 came up in over 19 and Porterfield reached his 50 in over 22. Leverock, slow left arm and for many years Bermuda's best bowler, came on for over 25. His fifth ball saw O'Brien mis time a sweep which was caught at short fine leg 135-3-25. Niall O'Brien was followed to the wicket by his brother Kevin. The best stand of the innings ensued. O'Brien faced 57 balls to Porterfield's 39 and O'Brien also got double Porterfield's runs, 54 to 27. The score after 25 overs was 136, almost half the required total. Kevin O'Brien hit a four early on. 150 came up in 28 overs and the 30 over score was 158. Leverock bowled his 10 overs in one spell with many changes at the other end. By over 35 the score was 183. So, 93 were required in 15 overs, a rate of just over 1 per ball.

Then O'Brien cut loose. He hit Borden, off spin, for two fours in over 26 which conceded 14 runs. The score was exactly 200 after over 37. Mukudden came back and 11 came from three wides and eight in three balls by O'Brien. In over 40, O'Brien reached 51 in 52 balls, his first half-century in his ninth Irish innings. The 40 over score was 220, 56 now required in 10 overs. In over 41, Leverock's ninth, O'Brien was dropped at mid-off. It was not expensive as he was out in the same over to a good catch at deep extra cover by Jones. 223-4-54. Botha came in but only 14 runs were scored in the next four overs, so the 45 over score was 238 which meant 38 were needed in 30 balls.

Leverock had finished with analysis of 10-0-34-2 and he was replaced for over 45 by Cann who had not bowled before and was the seventh bowler used. Botha hit a four in over 46 to wide mid-off off Borden, and, next ball, was caught at deep mid-wicket off a "pick-up shot". 243-5-9. 33 were now needed in 27 balls. McCallan started with a three. The 47th over, again bowled by Cann, gave up eight runs, Porterfield getting 2-2-2-1 off the last four balls. The first two he hit took him to 100 in 133 balls. When the 48th over, bowled by Borden, began 21 were needed in 18 balls. Porterfield took a single of the second ball and McCallan advanced to the third and was stumped. 256-6-4. Johnston arrived and hit a six to long on off the last ball of this 48th over, off which nine runs had been scored. Now 12 were needed as Cann came to bowl over 49. Four balls were sufficient. Porterfield singled the first ball. Then Johnston hit a mid-wicket six and took a single of the third ball. Porterfield leg-glanced a boudary to win the match. He was given the Man-of-the-Match award, a piece of inscribed glass.

Bermuda used seven bowlers. Tucker and Leverock bowled 10 each for a total of 77 runs. Borden bowled eight overs for 58 and was, by far, the most expensive.