Tuesday 27 September 2016

Damp squib as Ireland crash out of World Cup

Cricket

Published 12/03/2016 | 02:30

Ireland's Captain William Porterfield looks to hit the stumps after fielding the ball in the outfield. Photo: Seb Daly / Sportsfile
Ireland's Captain William Porterfield looks to hit the stumps after fielding the ball in the outfield. Photo: Seb Daly / Sportsfile

The weather gods that seem to follow nearly every Ireland campaign in the World T20 struck again in Dharamsala last night to consign the Boys in Green to an early flight home from India after their must-win match with Bangladesh was abandoned.

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Persistent rain throughout the day led to a shortened 12-over slogfest but after Bangladesh had smashed the Ireland attack to all quarters to reach 94-2 in eight overs, the heavens opened again and the umpires had seen enough.

Sitting on bar stools in 20 years' time, the small band of Ireland fans in the ground may well have you believing that Kevin O'Brien and Paul Stirling would have made short work of knocking off those runs, but in truth the rain likely saved Ireland from another embarrassing defeat.

It wasn't like Guyana in 2010 when Ireland had restricted eventual champions England to 120-8 only to be denied the chance of a successful chase, nor indeed like Colombo two years later when their group decider against West Indies was also abandoned.

The reality must now be sinking in that last year's poor performance in the qualifiers on home soil was no one-off blip, and that without the likes of Trent Johnston and Alex Cusack, this team just isn't very good at the shortest form of the game.

Or is it? Only 12 overs of action before the Bangladesh abandonment, Ireland were seemingly cruising to a victory against Oman that, given the two washouts yesterday, would have made William Porterfield's side firm favourites to progress, especially as more rain is forecast tomorrow.

"It's a disappointing way to go out and makes the loss to Oman even harder to take," said Porterfield. "We missed some chances in the field today but these things happen and it all becomes insignificant when the weather comes."

Ireland will wrap up their campaign tomorrow against the Netherlands, who are also out, with the dead rubber offering the very small consolation of the chance to avenge defeat by the Dutch in the 2014 tournament.

Irish Independent

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