Ireland lost a thrilling encounter with Canada, going down by just four runs in their second match of the T20 Quadrangular tournament in Sri Lanka. Chasing 177 to win at the SCC ground in Colombo, Ireland's batsmen twice manoeuvred themselves into a winning position - only to lose wickets at crucial times
Niall O'Brien got the chase off to rapid start with 50 from 34 balls, and with William Porterfield (19) and Paul Stirling (22) contributing useful cameos, Ireland were past halfway to their target after nine overs But a flurry of wickets - including the unlucky run out of Kevin O'Brien by a direct hit from third man - left Andre Botha and Gary Wilson to rebuild with a fifth wicket partnership of 35 from 23 balls.
With 37 needed from the final four overs Ireland were firm favourites again but three wickets fell for as many runs in the 17th over and the momentum was back with Canada. Andy White and John Mooney reduced the ask to 12 from the final over but Mooney became a third run-out victim from the fourth ball and after White added a single, Gary Kidd was unable to become an instant hero by hitting the final ball for a winning six.
Kidd was playing ahead of fellow left-arm spinner George Dockrell - and Phil Eaglestone also started - as coach Phil Simmons weighed his options ahead of next week's crucial T20 World Cup qualifiers.
But after winning the toss Ireland were unable to keep the early Canada batting in check - Eaglestone's opening two overs went for 16 runs and even the usually parsimonious Trent Johnston conceded more than one per ball. Botha broke an opening stand worth 68 in the 10th over but with Hiral Patel going on to make 88 not out and Ashish Bagai chipping in with 42, Ireland were always facing an imposing total.
Botha claimed a further two wickets in the final over of the innings to finish with figures of 3-35 but Canada's impressive 176-3 was to prove just beyond Ireland.
- Ireland's Trent Johnston makes an appeal during the T20 encounter against Canada played at the SSC Colombo
- Ireland's Gary Kidd misfields off his own bowling
- The Irish camp after the fall of an Canadian wicket
- Andre Botha indicates to which side the ball should have been thrown too
- Canada's Hiral Patel
- Hiral Patel acknowledges his 50
- Hiral Patel
- John Mooney during his over
- Irish Captain William Poterfield liaises with Kevin O'Brien
- Andre Botha after taking the wicket of Canada's Ashish Bagai
- William Porterfield turns for another
- Niall O'Brien
- Niall O'Brien works to leg
- 50 for Niall O'Brien
- Canada's Umar Bhatti makes an appeal
- Canada's captain Ashish Bagai reacts to the wicket of Irelands N. O ' Brien