This was more like it. Ireland may have narrowly beaten the rain but their victory in the second one-day international of the RSA Challenge Series against Kenya was deserved and emphatic. It was a determined Ireland squad, out to improve on their narrow three wickets success in the first game on Thursday, that clinched the three-match series in some style, dismissing Kenya for 175 in 45.1 overs and then scoring 104 for one in the 21 overs available. That they had only to be 53 at that stage to win the match under the Duckworth/Lewis method, said everything about the one-sided contest.
It was always going to be a race against time for Ireland with the rain forecast to arrive in north Dublin at 4pm and when the clouds burst, bang on schedule, another over still had to be bowled to constitute a match. The Kenyans, to their credit, kept on the slow bowlers, not attempting to delay proceedings, and it was another five minutes before the rain became too heavy for play to continue. There was still time for Steve Tikolo to take the wicket of William Porterfield with a quicker ball, which caught the Ireland captain on the back foot, but not before he had scored 49, to add to his 81 two days earlier, He is in some form and, currently, a joy to watch.
At the other end it was also a relief to see Gary Wilson again dominate at the crease. The Surrey wicket keeper had not reached 50 in his last 14 innings for Ireland and when he failed to score from 15 balls before the lunch interval, it looked as if that sequence would continue. But, fed and watered, he freed his arms after the break and pulled and drove his way to the elusive half century from 61 balls with eight fours. It was Ireland's first century partnership for the opening wicket in their 38th ODI.
In the first half of the day, under overcast skies and having been asked to bowl first, the bowlers did all that was asked of them. From the moment Boyd Rankin took a wicket with the fifth ball of the match - 20 overs earlier than the breakthrough on Thursday - Ireland were on top with the innings of Collins Obuya summing up Ireland's dominance. The natural hitter, who scored 20 off 19 balls in the previous game and 84 with eight boundaries in the second innings at Eglinton last weekend, failed to find the rope once in 60 balls yesterday, his painstaking 28 only delaying the inevitable, which was the Kenyans being bowled out, off the first ball of the 46th over.
An unchanged Ireland team left Peter Connell and Paul Stirling kicking their heels and Andrew Britton waiting for his first cap but the starting XI had a point to prove after the unconvincing series opening win. The batsmen didn't get a chance but the bowlers responded superbly, with seven wides the only blip on the radar. Rankin finished with three wickets from two hostile spells, including the dismissal of Kenya top scorer Alex Obanda in his comeback over and although Johnston did not take a wicket until the last ball of the innings he was again unlucky and, apart from one over when he bowled three wides, he fully merited figures of 1-20 from seven.
Alex Cusack and Kevin O'Brien shared the other six overs of pace with the latter bowling the out-of-form Steve Tikolo for his first wicket since the game against Worcestershire, eight innings ago. The spinners bowled half the overs with both Kyle McCallan and Regan West getting through their full quota and each finishing with two wickets at an economy rate of rate of just three.
The rain had stopped again in Clontarf by 6.30pm and it looks good for Ireland to complete a clean sweep in the final match today. But then, nothing less is expected from this team.
- Rudi Koertzen being presented with an award by Arthur Vincent on his 200th ODI
- Match referee David Jukes with Rudi Koertzen and Paul Baldwin
- Regan West traps Morris Ouma lbw
- Boyd Rankin shaves the leg stump of Alex Obanda
- Boyd Rankin delighted
- Trent Johnston bowling
- Wicket for Boyd Rankin
- Six hit for Obanda
- ..which Andy White can't prevent
- Don't think Kyle is too impressed
- William Porterfield has advice for Boyd Rankin
- Half century for Alex Obanda
- Jimmy Kamande is bowled by Kyle McCallan
- Regan West appeals for lbw
- Regan West congratulated
- Huge appeal by Kyle McCallan
- Boundary for William Porterfield
- All the Presidents Men
- Fifty for Gary Wilson
- Century partnership between Gary Wilson and William Porterfield
- William Porterfield being congratulated by young fans
- Kenyan fans at the game
- George and Gary Wilson
- Kevin O'brien bowling
- Phil Simmons
- Boyd Rankin goes past the edge
- Past the despairing dive of Kyle McCallan
- Alex Cusack bowling