Eire thrash Canada to retain Intercontinental Cup

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Leicester:Ireland (Eire) continued their solid performance from the World Cup as they beat Canada by an innings and 115 runs inside two days to defend the Intercontinental Cup at Grace Road here.

Even a hat-trick of LBWs for Canada's Umar Bhatti could not prevent the promising Ireland team as they put up a clinical display to wrap up the final, meaning the Cup will return for another spell with the Irish Cricket Union as Trent Johnstons men retain the title they first won in Namibia in 2005.

In the end, Canada was just not up to the challenge with Irelands off-spinner Kyle McCallan doing the maximum damage by claiming five late scalps and the seamers also chipped in with Johnston, Langford-Smith and Kevin OBrien all making inroads.

Canada were dismissed for 145 in their second innings to go with just 92 on the first day, still some 115 runs behind Irelands first innings total of 352. Johnston collected the cup from chairman of the European Cricket Council and former secretary of the Marylebone Cricket Club Roger Knight.

Opening batsman Jeremy Bray won the Man of the Match award for his magnificent knock of 146 on the first day which paved the way for his sides success.

Resuming at 250-3, some 158 runs ahead after an almost perfect day for the defending champions. But Canada bowled very well, particularly when the new ball was taken, and cleaned up the remaining seven wickets for just 102 runs.

For Canada, left-arm pacer Umar Bhatti was the cynosure of all eyes, taking 5-85, including a remarkable hat-trick of LBWs with his in-swinging deliveries to reduce Ireland from 297-3 to 303-7.

It was just the second hat-trick in ICC Intercontinental Cup history. The Netherlands Mohammad Kashif managed it against Canada in Pretoria last December.

The only batsman to hold up the Canadians this morning was Eoin Morgan, who batted beautifully for 84. The Middlesex left-handers was the last wicket to fall, just 16 short of what would have been his second century in three days, having hit a century for his county against Essex at Chelmsford on Sunday.

Despite the large lead that had been established, Irelands bowlers were in no mood to give Canada any chance to settle and took wickets at regular intervals to kep up the pressure.

The Canadian batsmen looked more positive than they had in the first innings but too many loose shots did them in at the end.

Brief Scores:

Canada 92 all out and 145 (Mulla 48, Davison 28; McCallan 5 for 34) lost to Ireland 352 all out (Jermey Bray 146, Eion Morgan 84, Porterfield 54; Umar Bhatti 5 for 85, Abdool Samad 2 for 71, Osinde 2 for 81).


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