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By Peter Della Penna in Dubai (on Twitter)
Scorecard powered by the New Inning Foundation I Match Commentary
Irish fast bowler Boyd Rankin took 4 for 9 in a devastating opening
spell to wipe out USA’s batting order on the way to a 64-run win for
Ireland at the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in Dubai. Rankin was
named Man of the Match for his efforts and is now the tournament’s
leading wicket-taker with 10 in four games. Ireland moved to 3-1 with
the win to stay tied for second in Group B with Scotland behind
undefeated Namibia. USA remains winless at 0-4 in the tournament, but
today’s loss was the first in which they were truly outclassed by their
“I think Ireland really outplayed us in all three departments of the
game,” said USA vice-captain Aditya Mishra after the loss. “I think we
bowled pretty well to them to restrict a team like Ireland on a small
ground to 160. I thought we had a chance, but when we came to bat, they
obviously had a plan. Their two medium pacers bowled out eight overs in
the beginning. As a team, we’re not used to coming out and playing
against 140+ kph bowlers. I think that showed on the field and I think
they executed their plans very well.”
Ireland won the toss and elected to bat first on what proved to be a
tricky batting surface. USA subbed out Andy Mohammed to bring Elmore
Hutchinson back into the lineup. Hutchinson and Usman Shuja had yet to
take a wicket in the tournament coming into the contest but struck early
to put Ireland on the back foot.
After Irish captain William Porterfield hit a four down the ground on
the third ball of the match, Shuja came back the next delivery to bowl
him when Porterfield missed a slog to midwicket. In the fifth over,
Hutchinson was smacked for four by Paul Stirling on the first ball, then
pitched it up again and got Stirling to nick behind to Steven Taylor to
send Ireland’s other opener off for 17. Alex Cusack came in and was
bowled first ball to put Hutchinson on a hat trick and leave Ireland at
32 for 3.
Kevin O’Brien negotiated the hat-trick ball safely and along with Ed Joyce,
put Ireland’s professionalism on full display. Joyce calmly steered
Ireland out of trouble until O’Brien got himself set. O’Brien finally
unleashed himself in the 12th over against Aditya Mishra, skipping down
the track to clobber a full toss for six over long on to bring up the 50
partnership with Joyce. He dished out even more punishment to Asif Khan
in the 15th over, hitting the first two balls for a six over long on
and a four through the covers.
It took a moment of brilliance from Abhimanyu Rajp to dislodge
O’Brien and end the partnership at 86. O’Brien tried to smack the
off-spinner down the ground but Rajp got his hands up in time to knock
the ball up in the air before diving to take a catch on the rebound.
O’Brien left stunned for 47, but he’d done his job to get Ireland out of
trouble. Two overs later, Rajp had Joyce prodding a much simpler return
catch for his second wicket as the former England player walked off for
46 to make it 135 for 3.
Gary Wilson came in and hit a flurry of boundaries before he was
caught at deep midwicket by Muhammad Ghous to give Hutchinson his third
and make it 146 for 6 in the 19th. John Mooney and Trent Johnston added
12 in the final over to take Ireland to a total of 160.
Hutchinson was the best bowler for USA on the day, taking 3 for 22
but curiously bowled just three overs instead of the maximum four
allowed. Rajp had 2 for 24 in four overs and is now USA’s leading
wicket-taker in the event with five in three games.
The target of 161 was 42 less than what USA needed against Ireland at
the same tournament in 2010, when Niall O’Brien’s 84 propelled Ireland
to their best ever Twenty20 score. However, 161 was still a figure well
out of reach for USA’s brittle batting order.
Taylor got USA off to a solid start in the first over, taking on
Johnston and flaying him through the off side for a pair of boundaries.
It was all downhill from there though. Two balls into the second over,
USA captain Sushil Nadkarni ran himself out going for a tight single
into the leg side. Andrew White pounced on the ball from square leg and
fired a direct hit to the non-striker’s end to send Nadkarni off without
scoring for the third day in a row. Nadkarni has only faced five
deliveries in his last three innings.
a stunning move, Rajp was promoted up the order to come in at number
three. Prior to Friday’s match, Rajp had faced 11 deliveries at the
tournament coming in at number 10 and number eight, scoring 14 runs. He
took a series of wild heaves against Rankin and Johnston, connecting for
one boundary over midwicket against Johnston, before Rankin bowled him
for 6 when he missed an attempt at guiding a good length ball to third
man and USA was 23 for 2.
Image (right) - Boyd Rankin goes up for an LBW shout against
Aditya Mishra. He would eventually dismiss Mishra for a duck, one of
Rankin's four wickets on the day. [Courtesy: ICC/Barry Chambers]
USA has now tried four different players - Mishra, Hutchinson, Nauman
Mustafa, and Rajp - at number three in four games during the
tournament. They have contributed 14 runs in four innings from the
Mishra came in and lasted just five balls before he tried to pull
Rankin and top edged a catch that the tall fast bowler settled under to
complete a double-wicket maiden in the fourth and USA dropped to 27 for
3. Three balls later, Orlando Baker tried to flick Johnston through
midwicket and sent a leading edge to Dockrell at third man. Taylor’s
stay finally ended in the sixth over when Rankin got him with a yorker
for 23 and USA dropped to 36 for 5, a total which at that point included
Khan got out for 2 trying to uppercut Johnston over short third man
but didn’t get under the delivery enough and gave Dockrell his second
catch to make it 41 for 6 in the seventh. Rankin capped off his spell
with the wicket of Adil Bhatti, playing across a full delivery to be
bowled for 8 and at the end of eight overs USA was out of the game at 52
Mustafa continued his disappointing debut tournament with 6 off 15
balls before he was LBW playing back to a fuller delivery from Stirling
and USA was 63 for 8 in the 12th. USA’s biggest partnership of the match
was produced by Hutchinson and Ghous, who put on 20 for the ninth
wicket before Ghous was caught trying to paddle Andrew White over short
fine leg but Dockrell was there for his third catch. Hutchinson wound up
top scoring in the match for USA, finishing with 29 off 33 balls before
White bowled him to end the match with USA all out for 96 in 18 overs.
After the match, the ICC issued a press release announcing that Japen
Patel has been approved as an injury replacement for Gowkaran
Roopnarine. Patel was in the reserves list for USA and is currently on
the way to Dubai to join the squad.
All teams have a day off before resuming tournament play on Sunday,
when USA will take on Oman from the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Live coverage begins at 1:45 a.m. EST on DreamCricket.com.
DreamCricket.com’s tournament coverage is made possible in part by the
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Scorecard powered by the New Inning Foundation I Match Commentary