Cricket: Ireland fail to lift World Cup hopes after defeat to Kenya
The Ireland squad arrive in India this evening still looking for the first win in 2011.
They ended their 10-day World Cup training camp in Dubai with a three wickets defeat to Kenya after collapsing to 176 all out.
Going into the match without captain William Porterfield and vice-captain Trent Johnston, Ireland reached 52 for two, but then lost five wickets for 11 runs and had to rely on the experience of Ed Joyce and Andrew White to give them a competitive total.
Joyce was top scorer with 56 from 89 balls and he shared a stand of 61 with White who was the only other batsman to get past 20. Nigel Jones with 18 and George Dockrell, 18 not out, put on 38 for the last wicket, but all out with an over unused was not what was expected against a side they had defeated 3-0 in 2009.
The highest partnership in the Kenya reply was 58 for the fourth wicket as the Ireland bowlers stuck to their task, but there were just not enough runs on the board and the Africans reached their target with 26 balls to spare.
Andre Botha took the first two wickets after Kevin O’Brien had again proved expensive with the new ball, which he shared with Alex Cusack. Jones chipped in with two for 24 from seven overs and Dockrell, Albert van der Merwe and John Mooney were the other wicket-takers.
Niall O’Brien (17) opened in place of the captain, but both he and Paul Stirling (14) were out with just 39 on the board. The dismissal of Alex Cusack for three started the collapse and he was followed back to the pavilion by Kevin O’Brien — for a second successive duck — Gary Wilson (3) Mooney (0) and Botha (1).
Joyce hit five boundaries, but the bulk of his innings was about batting out the overs with White who faced 66 balls for his 26.
Ireland have two official warm-up games, in Nagpur, against New Zealand on Saturday and Zimbabwe next Tuesday before the World Cup starts on February 19.