Ireland are still waiting for their first win in Jamaica after they went down by six wickets to the islanders in the 50 overs game at Kaiser Sports Club. A total of 229 was never going to be competitive on a good batting track - captain William Porterfield admitted they needed 270 - but the bowlers for the second time in three outings on this tour stuck to their task and the Jamaicans had only 16 balls to spare when they completed their six wickets win.
The tourists were without three of their first choice attack - Trent Johnston because he was not playing, Alex Cusack because he was not supposed to be and Andre Botha. Cusack found himself in action because Niall O'Brien went down with a chest infection but Porterfield resisted the temptation to call on him and gave John Mooney six overs and Civil Service North captain Nigel Jones his full quota of 10, more than he had bowled in his first five games put together.
Kevin O'Brien shared the new ball with Peter Connell who again went for six an over, Paul Stirling, passed fit to play and bowl, was a surprising, if unsuccessful, first change, leaving George Dockrell to get his first 10 overs of the tour under his belt. Andrew White was also introduced but three overs and 19 runs later that plan was abandoned. Porterfield's main problem was his bowlers were not taking wickets so for the third innings on tour, out of three, Ireland conceded an individual century. This time it was opener Danza Hyatt who reached 102, with 12 fours and a six. By the time he holed out to deep mid-wicket, Jamaica needed only 48 from 10 overs.
That is invariably a formality, but Ireland had managed only 36 in their last 10 as the lower order batsmen were again exposed by spin. Jamaica captain Tamar Lambert used his two slow bowlers in tandem from the 38th to the 44th overs and having conceded just 11 singles and a couple of twos, then brought himself on and finished with figures of two for 10. It had all looked so promising after 30 overs when Ireland were 157 for three but the wicket of Gary Wilson for 53 two overs later rendered the rest of the Ireland batting almost stroke less.
Apart from a solitary six by Jones, there was not a single boundary between the 23rd and 46th overs and it needed a couple of streaky fours by Connell to get him into double figures, something only Jones of the lower order managed. Kevin O'Brien had 29 "dot' balls in his 26, John Mooney struggled to beat the field and Alex Cusack endured one of the most torturous innings of his career, four singles off 18 balls, with no hint of timing. Maybe he wasn't used to batting at No 9.
The big positive for Ireland was that the main run scorers were the two batsmen who had missed out in the three day game. Porterfield, after his sixth ball dismissal on Sunday, was back to his one-day best, with sweetly timed shots all round the wicket in his stay of 19 overs. He made 44 out of 101, with two fours and two sixes but found easy to rotate the strike, something his later colleagues found so difficult. Paul Stirling failed to survive his third ball, beaten by a superb yorker and Andre Botha, typically, hit three fours in 13 before being brilliantly caught at second slip.
Wilson's half century came up in 72 balls with only four boundaries but the outfield at Kaiser is a lot slower than Chedwin Park and many shots pulled up short. Thank goodness for the 40 extras or the game would have over even quicker.
West Indies, who along with Canada join the Jamaica Cricket Festival for a Twenty20 quadrangular at the weekend, have named a strong squad for the games, including Jerome Taylor and Ramnaresh Sarwan, both returning from injury and Ravi Rampaul, who played for Ireland two years ago. The captain has still to be announced. West Indies: L Baker, S Benn, D Bravo, S Chanderpaul, N Deonarine, A Fletcher, W Hinds, N Miller, D Ramdin, R Rampaul, D Sammy, R Sarwan, J Taylor.
- Ireland warm up
- Ghetto blasters set up to rock the crowd
- Jamaican fans
- Through the covers by Niall O'Brien
- Niall O'Brien is bowled
- Andre Botha is bowled
- Alex Cusack is bowled
- Boundary for John Mooney
- Six hit for Paul Stirling
- Runs for Trent Johnston
- Andy White does a Dilshan
- Trent Johnston bowls a wide no ball
- Oddie Brown
- Danza Hyatt is dismissed
- JR Campbell batting
- JR Campbell is dismissed
- Santokie hits a six
- Ireland celebrate the win