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Cricket: Ireland stung by Namibia

IRELAND can afford no slip-ups today against Kenya after losing the opening match of their World Twenty20 qualifying campaign to Namibia by an agonisingly close four runs in Dubai.

Coach Phil Simmons had warned his charges that the south-west Africans were dark horses and so it proved, as Ireland narrowly failed to overhaul a challenging total of 160-8.

"We gave away a couple of needless run-outs at the start of our innings, but I thought Gary Wilson and John Mooney were going to bring us home," said captain William Porterfield.

"They got the target down to 27 off three overs, but it wasn't to be. It would have been great to go through the tournament unbeaten, but we have to start again against Kenya and aim for six wins."

removed

Leinster spinner George Dockrell again bowled the first over of the match and removed big-hitting Gerrie Snyman with his sixth ball but not before the Namibia danger man had smashed a four and a six.

Dockrell snared two more victims for figures of 3-30 but, despite fellow spinner Paul Stirling picking up 3-20, Ireland were unable to get to grips with their opponents.

Stirling departed for a duck in the first over of the reply and was followed back to the pavilion by four colleagues in a little more than 10 overs as the tournament favourites slumped to 65-5.

The chase was revived by a partnership of 71 between Wilson and Mooney, but when the wicketkeeper drove to cover on 49, the tail were unable to finish the job and the chase petered out on 156-9.

Irish Independent