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Ian Callender

Ireland suffered a rude awakening in the dark in Toronto as they lost the first one-day international against Canada by four runs under the Duckworth/Lewis formula. The umpires called off the match at 7.20pm with the light fading fast and two overs still to be bowled.

Canada still needed 12 runs with six wickets standing, in their pursuit of Ireland's 175 for nine but with a par score of 159, the hosts were declared the winners. It was Ireland's first defeat to a rival Associate since July 2008, when they lost to Scotland in Aberdeen. They had won 17 in a row but although there was a lot of unhappy Irish players, in truth they could have little complaint. It might have seemed harsh to call off a game with just 12 balls to be bowled but Ireland had taken more than 20 minutes over the previous three overs and two and a half hours to bowl their 33, the game having been reduced by a three and a half hour delay at the start of the day because of rain.

Just 11 balls before the umpires intervened, Canada were in control at 155 for two after a third wicket stand of 140 between man of the match Ruvindu Gunasekera and captain Ashish Bagai. But first, Kevin O'Brien had the left handed opener caught at short fine leg and then John Mooney held a stunning catch at backward point to dismiss Bagai.

With two new batsmen in the middle, Ireland still fancied their chances of victory but their two main bowlers had completed their full quota and Andre Botha, who was about to bowl the penultimate over, had conceded 35 from his first four. We will never know what would have happened.

Just as it might have been different if Paul Stirling had not dropped Bagai on 14, with the total on 51, continuing Stirling's horror run of missed chances. This was his fourth in a row, in two innings. Earlier, the Ireland batting was just as wasteful with all but O'Brien reaching double figures and not one reaching 50.

As the wickets fell, so the runs dried up and only 66 came off the last 15 overs and 46, including just two boundaries, off the final 10.