Irish need winning reply
Published 20/02/2012 | 05:00
IRELAND will have to overcome ferocious conditions as well as a resurgent Kenya team in Mombasa today if they are to avoid back-to-back defeats in two crucial World Cup qualifying matches.
Veteran Trent Johnston suffered in the severe heat on Saturday, as Ireland failed to defend a modest total of 200 and lost their first match of the 2015 qualifying campaign by seven wickets.
Johnston and his fellow bowlers could again feel let down by their batting colleagues with only Paul Stirling and Kevin O'Brien getting more than 27 and four of the Irish dismissals were due to poor shot selection. Stirling's self-directed anger was evident after he popped up a soft catch to mid-wicket to end an enterprising knock of 46 from 44 balls, and O'Brien was caught for 39 just when he was threatening to put a sting in the tail of the innings.
Ireland fought hard at the start of the reply, but as the heat took its toll so did Tanmay Mishra, who scored 70 not out to see Kenya home.
Irish coach Phil Simmons knows another defeat today would throw the eight-team qualifying process wide open. "These two matches were the focus of this trip and we need to make sure we at least come away level with one win each," he said.