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Match Report
Ian Callender

Day 1

Ireland are hoping that history repeats itself after a horror first morning in their Intercontinental Cup game in Mombasa.

Reduced to 56 for seven at lunch and all out for 75, barely 20 minutes later, Ireland managed to end the first day (of four) with a lead of 47 with eight second wickets standing. Incredibly, the Ireland players can rightly say they are satisfied with the match position.

On a pitch which turned more than anyone expected so early in the match, the spinners wreaked havoc with the two Kenya slow left armers finishing with innings figures of nine for 33. But to their credit, George Dockrell and Albert van der Merwe responded superbly to share all 10 wickets in another 27 overs of mayhem.

Indeed, when the teams went for tea, with Kenya 51 for seven, Ireland were still hoping for an outrageous first innings lead. The first four overs after the break, however, went for 27 - comfortably the fastest scoring of the day - and Ireland had given up their first points of this Intercontinental Cup.

Still, they restricted the Kenya advantage after the first innings to 34, which is 16 less than they surrendered when bowled out by Namibia for 69, still the lowest total in I-Cup history. Ireland won that game in October 2008 and last night, if anything, William Porterfield's side were the more confident going into day two.

It was Porterfield and National Coach Phil Simmons, the tour selectors, who caused the first shock of the day when they omitted both Trent Johnston and Boyd Rankin from the starting line-up. Simmons explanation was that as this was the least important of the six games on this trip, they would save them for the two World Cup qualifiers next weekend.

It allowed the captain a first sight of Max Sorensen, The Hills all-rounder, in match action, the South African's only previous appearance in Ireland colours being at the Hong Kong Sixes four months ago, a trip that Porterfield missed.

Sorensen shared the new ball with John Mooney but having been involved in the pre-lunch action, the seam bowlers' role was never going to be more than roughing it up for the spinners, so the resting of Rankin and Johnston actually made perfect sense, and it also strengthened the Ireland batting order - and that is certain to be needed second time around.

Sorensen hasn't quite got the hang of four-day cricket however, his dismissal the result of one of the worst shots of the day - a big swing to mid-on - but Alex Cusack, Kevin O'Brien and Gary Wilson were all caught away from the wicket.

At least Ed Joyce ensured an encouraging finish to the day. Having scored his 2,000th run for Ireland when top scoring in the first innings, he was even better in the second and has already hit seven fours and a six in his unbeaten 51 - by coincidence that was the exact boundary count for the entire Ireland first innings.

It was not such a good day for Porterfield. Although he reached 18 - and that was 18 more than his second innings contribution - he was dropped off both the first two balls he faced from Hiren Varaiya at short leg. It proved an ominous sign of things to come.

But Dockrell is optimistic. "The ball didn't turn as much after tea, so it will be interesting to see if does anything in the morning or if it will flatten out and turn into a good batting track.

"We would like 400 this time but if we get 300 then, with our attack, we can go for the win," he said

Day 2

Ireland defied illness and the role of underdog going into the fourth innings to complete one of the more remarkable international matches with their winning Intercontinental Cup record intact.

The result was a 10 runs victory over Kenya in Mombasa, but that doesn't begin to tell the story of a game scheduled for four days but completed with 23 overs left on day two. The team bowled out for 75 in the game's first innings, bounced back to defend 118 in the last and, having set up a record of 22 catches in the game on day one, the books were being thumbed through again as Ireland's 20 wickets were shared by just two bowlers.

Inevitably, on a pitch which surprised even the hosts by taking turn from the first morning, it was slow left armer George Dockrell and off spinner Albert van der Merwe who ripped through the Kenya batting, the 19 year old Somerset professional finishing with match figures of nine for 87. But he was upstaged by van der Merwe won the man of the match award for taking 11 for 68.

The fact that Dockrell bowled at all yesterday, however, was a feat in itself. He slept in the dressing room for most of the morning as he and his room-mate, Ed Joyce, were victims of a stomach upset.

The Ireland plan, when they resumed on 81 for two, just 47 in front, was to get through to lunch to allow their ill team-mates as long as possible to recover. But not only did Joyce have to go in 15 minutes before the break but having added just three runs to his impressive overnight 51, Dockrell had to replace him and he failed to get off the mark, Ireland all out for 152, as the last five wickets fell for four runs.

At lunch, victory seemed a formality for Kenya but their victory target was still 10 more than they managed in the first innings. Still, Dockrell's presence was key.

As his captain, William Porterfield, put it afterwards: "He just came on and got on with it. He did everything he could, fronted up for the team and on a deck that was spinning he took the ball away from the bat and that helped us massively."

For the second time in the match he took a wicket in his first over, followed up with another in his second and then, in a golden spell of 23 balls for Ireland, Kenya lost four wickets without a single run being scored. When van der Merwe made it 36 for eight, it looked as if the game would be over before tea but a ninth wicket stand of 58 held up the rampant Irish.

It shouldn't and wouldn't have been as long if Gary Wilson had held on to a catch behind or, missed a stumping, but Ireland never panicked and 30 overs after the eighth wicket, van der Merwe finally took the ninth.

Even then it wasn't safe for Ireland and No 11 Shem Ngoche came in and hit Dockrell for a four and a six in the same over but, fittingly, it was the South African who finished the game with his first six-wicket haul for Ireland.

Porterfield was relieved rather than euphoric afterwards. "The way we bowled was fantastic, and for the spinners to take all the wickets was great to see."

"It was a difficult pitch for batsmen to start on and a lot of wickets fell in bursts. Some batsmen didn't help themselves with some of the dismissals, there was some poor cricket played at times, but it was a scrap and we put in a strong mental performance in the end. And that will stand us in good stead moving forward to the two ODIs v Kenya.