Ireland's T20 World Championship warm up programme got off to a solid start in Fatullah on Wednesday as Phil Simmons' charges recorded a five wicket win over Nepal in front of 5,000 local supporters.
William Porterfield opted to field first on winning the toss and once again spin was king as early wickets from George Dockrell and Andy McBrine soon had their side in front.
A 55-run third wicket stand between skipper Gyanendra Malla and Paras Khadka gave the Nepalese innings some impetus but despite their partnership the batting team rarely threatened to take the game away. Malla top scored with an impressive 47 (3 fours and a six) and Khadka added 31 while the Irish bowled well as a unit.
McBrine and Kevin O'Brien both returned figures of 2-22 with Dockrell picking up 2-31 and Max Sorensen 1-16 as Nepal closed their 20 overs on 137 for 7.
Openers Porterfield and Stirling got the reply off to a bright start with a quick 30-run stand before Jutendra Mukhiya removed the latter and Ed Joyce in successive balls. Porterfield and Andrew Poynter restored order as Ireland recovered to 78-2 before the skipper went for 38 (3 fours).
With the required rate creeping up Poynter fell to a superb catch at long off for 28 and he was followed back to the hutch soon after by Kevin O'Brien as Nepal sensed their chance. At that point Ireland needed 31 from the last three overs with Gary Wilson and Stuart Thompson in the middle but this pair were to have matters in hand.
Wilson smashed two big sixes off Shakti Gauchan's final over as Ireland closed in on victory and Thompson only needed the first ball of the 20th to seal a 5-wicket win, the pair finishing unbeaten on 29 and 21 respectively.
Coach Simmons will no doubt see this as a good work out for his side and although much tougher challenges lie ahead this was a compact performance from the boys in green. McBrine and Dockrell seem sure to see plenty of work in the coming weeks and the fact that both were in the thick of the action bodes well for the tournament itself.
- Preparing the pitch
- Rolling the pitch
- Preparing the pitch
- Ireland win the toss and field
- Captains William Porterfield and Paras Khadka
- Max Sorensen bowling
- Sagar Pun is bowled by George Dockrell
- Congratulations for Dockrell
- Boundary for Para Khadka
- Lofted boundary for Paras
- Flicked to leg by Khadka
- Andy McBrine gives chase
- Paul Stirling bowling
- Big hit by Paras Khadka
- Attempted stumping by Gary Wilson
- Another boundary by Paras
- Return catch for George Dockrell
- Cool George Dockrell
- Kevin O'Brien congratulates Gary Wilson
- Andy McBrine tosses it up ...
- ...reverse swept fine
- Tim Murtagh gives chase
- ireland celebrate another wicket
- Andy McBrine
- Difficult return chance for Tim Murtagh
- Hands on head for George Dockrell
- Smiles for Max Sorensen
- Paras Khadka bowling
- 4 for Wlliam Portefield
- Six hit for Paul Stirling
- Jitendra celebrates the wicket
- Clipped to fine leg by Ed Joyce
- Andrew Poynter batting
- Swept by William Porterfield
- Gary Wilson batting
- Six for Andrew Poynter
- Andrew Poynter trudges off
- Kevin O'Brien batting
- Gauchan celebrates the wicket...
- ... and leaps for joy
- Gauchan wrongly believes he has another wicket
- Runs for Gary Wilson
- Just out of reach
- Driven by Stuart Thompson
- Huge 6 for Gary Wilson
- Match winning stand between Gary Wilson and Stuart Thompson
- Beaming Gary Wilson
- Stuart Thompson congratulated