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Ian Callender

Ireland continue to have the hex over Kenya. Following a 3-0 series victory in Mombasa in February, Ireland got their World Twenty20 qualifying tournament up and running with an emphatic 10 wickets success in the Dubai International Stadium.

Kenya were bowled out for 71 and Ireland needed only 32 minutes and 44 balls to knock off the runs. William Porterfield hit 56 of them with eight fours and two sixes and Paul Stirling, for once, happy to take a back seat, still managed nearly a run-a-ball 15.

The man of the match, however, went to Boyd Rankin who after numerous accurate but unlucky performances this winter, finally got among the wickets. He took the first three at a cost of just two singles off the bat in his first two overs to reduce the Kenyans to 13 for three and after that it was one-way traffic.

Porterfield, for the first time anyone can remember in a T20 match, used only five bowlers but then he didn't need any more today as they all dominated the Kenya batsmen, who hit only four boundaries in the entire innings which stretched for 19 overs. The first "two' of the innings came in the 13th over.

By then, it was just a matter of time, although Tamnay Mishra, the only African batsman to reach double figures, and David Obuya were adding 25 for the seventh wicket. Even that partnership should have been halted after just six runs because Mishra was stranded way out of his ground, looking for a single. His partner hadn't moved and when Rankin picked up the ball on his follow through he was actually closer to the stumps than the non-striker. But the 6ft 8in bowler chose to throw the ball at the wicket rather than try and outpace the 5ft 7in bowler - and he missed.

It was never going to be vital and John Mooney ended the stand with the help of one of Gary Wilson's three catches, two of them standing up. It was a particularly impressive comeback by Mooney whose last over - his only one in the four runs defeat by Namibia yesterday - went for 24 runs. Today, he bowled four times as many balls and conceded less than half the runs while picking up two wickets.

Trent Johnston also found his best form, for the first time this winter, and was rewarded with his first T20 wicket of the tour while Alex Cusack's figures of two for five from three overs speak for themselves. George Dockrell was again an unsung hero, picking up his, now, customary two wickets.

When Ireland batted, Porterfield stroked the first ball through extra cover but for a while that resembled a mirage in the desert as both batsmen were content to play themselves in. It didn't last long, though, with Porterfield hitting the first three balls of the third over for six, four and four and three overs later, he had brought up his 50 in 23 balls.

As comprehensive comebacks go, it doesn't get much better and now this confident Ireland team will expect to repeat the success in their next match against Italy in Abu Dhabi, the third of their seven group games.

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