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Match Report
Ian Callender

Both the Friends Provident matches, against Hampshire at Eglinton on Sunday 10 May and Leicestershire at Castle Avenue on Thursday 14 May, were abandoned without a ball being bowled.

Delayed start - match reduced to 34 overs per side

It was another case of so near, yet so far for Ireland yesterday as that first win of the domestic season eluded them once again. They will not come any closer without winning.

Andrew White nearly repeated his heroics in the famous World Cup opener against Zimbabwe in Jamaica two years ago. Then he bowled the last over needing to keep the Test nation down to eight for the tie, yesterday it was six.

After four balls to Nottinghamshire's numbers eight and 10, Paul Franks and Luke Fletcher, he had conceded just four but Franks, more in hope than expectation, drove at the fifth ball and it flew through the covers, just out of the reach of Andrew Poynter who failed to stop the boundary. The county were home by two wickets with a ball to spare.

It was desperately hard luck on Ireland but, in truth, they know they didn't get enough runs - and that was due to Samit Patel.

The slow left armer, infamously declared last month as "not fit enough to play for England" finished with career best bowling figures of six for 13. After Reinhardt Strydom and Jeremy Bray had put on 50 for the first wicket, Patel came on in the 12th over, removed both openers with the fifth ball of each of his first two overs and then added the wickets of Paul Stirling and Andrew Poynter, in successive deliveries. Stirling's bat actually flew out of his hand after making contact with his last shot but the ball went high enough for Notts captain and wicket-keeper Chris Read to run halfway down the pitch and take the catch.

Kevin O'Brien avoided the hat-trick and went on to share a sixth wicket stand of 47 with Andrew White. Unfortunately for Ireland, Patel had been held back for two more overs and he dismissed both batsmen in the space of five balls. So, instead of having two "set' batsmen at the crease for the final onslaught, it was left to Alex Cusack, Kyle McCallan and Regan West to try and get Ireland to at least 150. They failed by 10 and it proved so crucial.

Phil Eaglestone who, along with James Hall, will not be going to England tonight for Ireland's final two Friends Provident Trophy games against Hampshire tomorrow and Worcestershire on Wednesday - they have been replaced in the squad by Trent Johnston and Peter Connell - overstepped twice and the two no-ball "free-hits" were both thumped to the boundary.

Still, Kevin O'Brien again bowled a steady opening spell and Cusack, in his first game of the season, was another bonus for the team. But on this pitch it was a day for the slow bowlers and McCallan's seven overs went for just 20 runs, West, in a real curate's egg of a performance, managed to go for just three runs more and then White came on at the death and almost won it for Ireland. But, it was not to be.

Castle Avenue, Clontarf