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Ian Callender

Ireland's struggles in Kenya continue. After scrapping to a 10 runs victory in the Intercontinental Cup game at the start of the week, William Porterfield's side ended it with a humiliating seven wickets defeat in the World Cricket League championship.

It is their first setback on the road to qualifying for the World Cup finals in 2015 but with four wins out of four before this, it is not time to panic. The batsmen, though, must get it right for the first time on tour when the teams meet in the second ODI and, just as worryingly, the bowlers managed only two wickets in 42.4 overs as Kenya reached their 201 runs target.

Bowled out for 75 and 152 in the four-day game, which was finished in two last Monday, at least then they had the excuse of a turning pitch. Yesterday, on a much more batsman-friendly track they found out that 200 - they were bowled out with 15 balls unused - was woefully inadequate. Thank goodness for Paul Stirling's 46 from 44 balls at the top of the order or else Ireland's defeat would have been even heavier.

His partnership of 59 for the second wicket with Alex Cusack showed how easy the pitch played but Ireland then contrived to lose three wickets for 11 runs in the space of 25 balls to collapse to 85 for four. Despite 27 from Gary Wilson and 39 by Kevin O'Brien, it was all a struggle for the tourists who have repeatedly had to make the decision to stick or twist and, invariably, chosen the wrong option.

The captain, who has contributed just 23 runs in three innings, needlessly touched one going down leg side and his team-mates then had a competition to decide who could give the softest dismissal.

Stirling, caught at square leg, Cusack at long off, Wilson, a gentle return catch, and O'Brien at square leg were the leading contenders. Frustratingly all were well set.

Andrew White, in his 198th game for Ireland, was caught at cover, John Mooney was bowled sweeping and Johnston hit one straight to backward point.

George Dockrell brought up the 200 but he was immediately last man out with 15 balls unused and Ireland's four-match winning start to their 2015 World Cup qualifying campaign was unravelling.

Boyd Rankin, recalled with Johnston after sitting out the I-Cup game, bowled superbly but without luck and, more importantly, without a wicket. Dockrell has found the happy knack of taking a wicket in his first over, but that was as good as it got for the slow left armer who badly missed his spin twin, Albert van der Merwe, at the other end.

The South African was man of the match last Monday with figures of 11 for 68 but he was left out of this ODI squad. With so few runs on the board, it could not be said to be a costly mistake.

Mooney was the other successful bowler but a direct hit by Trent Johnston, to dismiss Kenya captain Collins Obuya was the only wicket that Ireland managed after the 17th over. Tanmay Mishra, with a marvellously controlled 70 not out, from 76 balls, including six fours, saw the Kenyans home in a partnership of exactly 100 with Rakep Patel.

It is not the time to panic but suddenly the thought of going into another ODI and then three Twenty20 games without their best batsman, Niall O'Brien, suddenly does not seem such a bright idea.

O'Brien is in Bangladesh and yesterday he warmed the bench for the fifth time in five matches!