Cricket: It takes an Irishman…

Just on a final note to yesterday’s One Day International at Stormont, whilst some England fans are whingeing about the pointlessness of such matches (it’s presumably because of Ireland’s impressive run in the World Cup), we only lost by 3 runs, and had a target of 17 runs to make off the last over (scorecard here). Impressive enough you might say. Then read the detail in the Irish Times this morning:

Nine wickets down and needing 17 to win from the final over and with one wicket remaining it was a time for heroes and Ireland had two at the wicket in Trent Johnston and Kyle McCallan. Johnston, on his 100th appearance for Ireland, had earlier taken four wickets for just 26 runs and now faced Shah. After a two and two singles, Johnston hit the fourth ball to the boundary fence to leave Ireland needing nine from the last two balls. Needing a six, Johnston clubbed the next delivery towards the long-on boundary.

Cue the final dramatic twist in the match. Former Ireland player Eoin Morgan, on as sub-fielder, was waiting on the rope and managed to leap in the air and palm the ball back into play, with Ireland’s batsmen awarded just a single after being called one-short. With the game up, Johnston would hit the final ball to the boundary to finish unbeaten on 20, but Ireland cruelly three-runs short.[emphasis added]

Great performance from Ireland, despite the loss of players like Morgan; they still have the capacity to put the frighteners on their supposed betters… Next time, with an Englishman on the boundary, maybe we’ll actually win…