Not bad for a first time out…

Ireland 221-9 v Zimbabwe 221 all out – match tied!Andy Bull:

What a special game and what an amazing comeback by Ireland. Johnston was so close to winning that game with that catch at backward point, diving away to his right the ball grazed his fingertips and fell to earth. If he’d held it, they would have won. As it was the pressure got to Matsikenyeri, and he played and missed the last ball when he only needed one to win.

Tom Fordyce:

I cannot believe what I’ve just seen – with the scores tied with one ball to go, Matsi misses White’s yorker, ‘keeper O’Brien gathers, hurls at the bowler’s end and runs out the non-striker. It’s a tie!

Ireland’s players go crazy – it’s like Australia v South Africa in ’99 all over again. Zimbabwe have somehow thrown it away. Nine were needed off the last six, with Matsi facing. He hit the first two balls for twos and then spooned a full toss to midwicket – but Rankin failed to spot it in time and missed the chance.

With four needed off three, last man Rainsford drove a one. Matsi then swiped at White’s next ball and got a top edge which Johnston, diving backwards at gully, nearly pouched in what would have been the catch of his life. But he dropped it, and as he hurled it back at the stumps Rainsford only avoided being run out by careering straight through the stumps.

Matsi then slashed the penultimate ball for two to leave him needing one to win it off the final ball – only for White to fox him in the flight and send the Irish fans bonkers.

I can’t quite believe what just happened – half an hour ago, Ireland were dead and buried.


Zimbabwe looked to be home and dry – and Kevin Curran, their coach, looks disconsolate in the dressing room. He is severely unimpressed. A terrific comeback from Ireland – particularly Andre Botha’s overs at the end, cutting Zimbabwe’s momentum dead. The World Cup is well and truly alive.

  • Pete Baker


    Its a draw!! Enough to celebrate on its own given the rarity of the result. But Ireland looked to be out of the match half-way through Zimbabwe’s innings. A great fight back!

  • Like a lot of Irish people I’m not very familiar with the sport of cricket but it’s nice to see us making an impact.

  • moochin photoman


    utv news said that we won!!!
    Then newsnight came up with the draw and here we are!!!

  • Comrade Stalin

    Like a lot of Irish people I don’t give a damn about cricket, and give much more of a damn that we aren’t boycotting anything to do with Zimbabwe and that tyrant Mugabe.

  • The doc

    should Ireland even have played this match,given the brutality of the regime (but no oil),should a country such as Ireland give any credence to it.

  • ringo

    Excellent stuff. A 100% unbeaten record in WC matches. Bring them home quick…

    As yer man doing the sport on RTE news on 2 introduced it just now ‘and probably for the first time ever we start with cricket…’

  • Pete Baker

    Like a lot of Irish people I am familiar with cricket and enjoyed following the fascinating and tense game today.

    However, on mixing politics and sport..

  • slug

    Like a lot of Irish people I enjoy cricket and thought it was a very enjoyable game.

  • Mick Fealty

    There is a point to it though: Andy Bull this morning.

  • ben

    Like absolutely no-one else in the world of any nationality, I thought it was a cracker of a game.

    I don’t think Zimbabwe should be in the tournament, but I don’t think a unilateral decision is appropriate. Yet.

  • Pete Baker

    There is a point to it, Mick.

    But sports team should not be tasked with taking action that elected governments will not.

    If the Zimbabwean team are entitled, and allowed by the relevant authorities, to be there then Ireland have an obligation to meet them as equals on the field of battle.. as it were..

  • middle-class taig


    still don’t understand why we don’t win the game, though. 221-9 beats 221ao for me.

  • confused

    As an Irishman I am very Familiar with cricket and have been supporting Yorkshire all my life.
    I am delighted our neighbours across the introduced us to this great sport which rises above sectarianism and bigotry.
    Well done Ireland A great result.

  • I don’t think the people of Zimbabwe should be punished because their President happens to be a scumbag. They haven’t had a chance to vote him out in a free election, remember. There are other barbaric regimes in the world, but I don’t hear people calling for sporting sanctions against Burma or Saudi Arabia… Zimbabwe happens to be next door to South Africa, which is the only reason this is even being mentioned.

    Oh, as far as the match went, I wondered would 221 be enough to win and… well, what a finish. Well done Ireland, it’s all about having a bit of fun against Pakistan and the West Indies now, and being able to walk out of the tournament with our heads held high.

    Altough, don’t forget we have beaten the West Indies in a one day match…

  • SuperSoupy

    Why is Pakistan exempt from criticism? Do coups and rigged elections get ignored unless they come from powerless African nations?

  • Comrade Stalin

    I’ve been aware of the crapness in Zimbabwe for a couple of years now, although it has been going on for a bit longer than that.

    Perhaps naively, I don’t think people should have anything to do with countries where people can’t vote out the government and where people are beaten up for daring to oppose an administration which presides over massive employment and hyperinflation. Mugabe isn’t just incompetent – he is clearly a certifiable nutter. Boycotts, including sporting boycotts, played a role in ending apartheid in South Africa.

    This is admittedly really just a platitude though. I’m sure around my house there are things that were made in China ..

  • Pete Baker


    I happen to agree.. but it’s the role of government to do that. Sporting boycotts did nothing, as Peter Hain will tell you.. if he ever finds a moment of honesty.

    In particular, given the special role demanded by African states, there is a particular need for action against Zimbabwe by states such as South Africa.. that exemplar of democracy…

  • The doc

    Well said comrade,btw Stalin was worse.

  • Pete Baker

    btw, Comrade.. I’m sure you’re aware of this but..

    I don’t think people should have anything to do with countries where people can’t vote out the government.

    Hello Assembly!

  • páid

    Well this Irish-speaking Irishman does enjoy a game of cricket.

    As did Dónall Mac Amhlaoibh, author of the classic “Dialann Deoraí” or “An Irish Navvy”

    His account of spending an emigrant’s penniless Sunday in the parks of Northampton watching the locals play, and enjoying the peace that descends thereon, is poignant.

    And yes, I do understand all the rules.

    Any game that stops for tea must be recommended.

  • Briso

    Well done Ireland, a great performance.

    I was wondering if there was some sort of de-facto segregation among the fans? It looked a bit like that yesterday on the tv. One side was full of tricolours and leprechauns, the other side NI flags and rangers tattoos. Perhaps it’s just my own prejudices, but that’s how it seemed…

    From the IT this morning:

    The ICC have a reputation for creating international incidents from the flimsiest of raw material. One such case was averted before play began as the world governing body stumbled blinking into the murky world of Irish politics.

    For 10 minutes the Tricolour blew in the Jamaican breeze alongside the official flag of Zimbabwe and the black, green and gold of the host country, Jamaica.

    Then, panic in the ranks of the orange-clad ICC pr team, as it was explained that this was a team representing the whole island.

    A serious young man was summoned to oversee its removal. Standing with hands on hips, he glared at the offending piece of material as it was lowered down the pole, carrying out his duties in the manner of a junior officer putting down a colonial uprising.

    Never has the blue and green motif of the Irish Cricket Union been raised with such speed and apparent relief.

  • esmereldavillalobos

    WOW! I was barely able to sleep last night after one of the greatest comback’s since Lazarus. Ireland were dead and buried with 6 overs to go but to bring things back down to earth a bit, Zimbabwe panicked; the game should have been wrapped up long before Kevin O’Brien’s penultimate over and the lunacy that followed. A dropped catch, missed run out and then a run out off the final ball? To all the nay sayers out there, if there is a better bit of sporting drama this year, I’d really appreciate hearing about it.

    Ireland wrote themselves into cricketing history last night against a poor Zimbabwe side, granted but a Zimbabwe side that will probably be playing Test cricket again before the end of the year. A win against Pakistan on Saturday and we will probably make the Super Eights – that will largely depend on which Pakistan side turns up but who knows? A guy can dream…

    No, I don’t like Mugabe much either but principle is one thing, this is professional sport. Anyone recall poor Nasser Hussain at a press conference after the last World Cup, resigning the England ODI captaincy and trying to explain why his team were out of the tournament largely because thay wouldn’t play a match in Harare (if memory’s need jogged read his fine autobiography “Playing With Fire”)? Anyone remember the barrage of criticism levelled at the Australians for playing in Bulawayo? No? Oh yeah, they won that World Cup didn’t they?

    Sanctions, isolate Zimbabwe from all international sport a la apartheid era South Africa by all means but if the international political will to stop Mugabe is not there it is hardly the fault of the Irish Cricket Union.

  • Ringo

    The ICC have a reputation for creating international incidents from the flimsiest of raw material. One such case was averted before play began as the world governing body stumbled blinking into the murky world of Irish politics.

    err, isn’t the problem Irish politics and not the ICC? Expecting everyone on the planet to be tuned into the petty fixation that the Irish have with flags sounds ridiculously self-centered, particularly given the opposition.

  • martin

    Guys, guys…

    Cricket! ‘God’s way of teaching the English about eternity.’

  • Droch Bhuachaill

    Can someone please explain the rules of cricket to me in less than 25 words to this ignorant Kerryman? I was watching it last night and thought we were winning when losing, losing when winning, the winning again while drawing.

    Not trying to cast a political shadow on a sporting event, but does anyone else think that it in inappropriate for fans of Ireland to be flying the union jack at the game? The tricolor and the NI flag of course, but i don’t think the game will ever have a wider appeal if it is still seen to be a sporting wing of the UK

  • ian

    ” the other side NI flags and rangers tattoos”

    The n.i football ‘crowd’ seemed to be in attendance , so that would explain the tattoos & segregation

  • Comrade Stalin

    Pete, fair enough. Yes, I’m aware of what you mean about the government here in NI, though technically a wave of discontent could see the makeup of the executive shifted substantially.

    the doc:

    Well said comrade,btw Stalin was worse.

    What are you a doctor of, fifth-column counter-revolutionary bourgeois kulakism ? Any more of that loose talk and I’ll have you shipped off to Siberia.

  • Mick Fealty

    Jonathan Agnew was quick to throw cold water on the event, when he suggested that Zimbabwe should not be re-admitted to the Test nations. Not on political grounds, just that they were not good enough.

  • Mick Fealty

    Droch Bhuachaill,

    “…thought we were winning when losing, losing when winning, the winning again while drawing”.

    That brings me back to a childhood conversation with my sports mad (Gaeilgeoir) father, who point blank refused to answer what I thought at the time was a perfectly reasonable question of “who is winning’. Turns out, that ambiguity is one of the reasons cricket is such a compelling sport.

  • esmereldavillalobos

    Droch Bhuachaill

    Here goes…

    Each team bats and bowls in a game, the side batting scores runs against the side bowling, the side with the most runs wins.

    Cricket is a simple game at heart but the Laws are complicated once you get into it: LBW would take a good half hour to explain, that’s why there is a proper tea break!

    It would have been nice to see everyone flying a green shamrock on a blue background to support an all Ireland team (maybe the ICU missed a trick there – then again I can’t find an Ireland WC replica shirt on the interweb anywhere so maybe they’re missing them a plenty!). Someone here will no doubt say that the official flag of NI is the Union Flag, that the flag of the old Stormont parliament has no official status etc etc and to be honest, I can see the point. Fly the Tricolour by all means but if somebody from another jurisdiction wants to fly another flag to support the same team, so be it.

    At the end of the day, they’re just bits of cloth and if everyone can sit and have a beer and discuss the game afterwards, I don’t see the harm. Roll on Saturday!

  • mnob

    Droch Bhuachaill. No I dont think its inappropriate for fans of Ireland to fly the Union Flag.

    Live and let live – if people want to fly provincial flags, regional flags or even the EU flag let them just watch their sport in peace (unless the emblem is being used in a provocative way).

    Your views on the principles of flying flags are biased by your political views. What you are really saying is ‘I object to the use of the flag so noone should be able to wave it’. Fair enough you’re allowed to express your views, but I’m allowed to disagree.

    25 words or less hmm …. bowler throws the ball at the batter, batter hits the ball, if it doesnt bounce or roll before crossing the boundary that counts as 6 runs, if it does then its four. If it doesnt cross the boundary at all then the runs are the number of times the batter runs between the wickets. If the ball is caught after being hit before it touches the ground the batter is out. If the ball touches the stumps while the batter is running between wickets he is out. Repeat until batters team is all out, or a fixed number of bowls takes place or batting team decides to call it a day. Then the other team bats Team with the most runs wins.

    Oh and with breaks for tea and rain.

    Hmm thats about 100 …

  • Briso

    Well, at least I wasn’t imagining it.

    “Let me get the only gripe of the day out of the way – the boys from the north stuck to one side and those from the Republic…. stood south. But nothing could detract from the terrific atmosphere they created.”

  • Dessertspoon

    Any chance of a test match at Croke Park? Or is that pushing it a little too far 🙂

  • forecast

    A great result for the Irish, and a great game of cricket. Well done lads, just what the competition needed.

  • confused

    Lets enjoy this success for it does not happen very often.
    It is not as memorable as the dismissal of the West Indies in Sion Mills all those years ago when Alec O’Riordan got stuck into their batsmen to leave them awestruck.
    We will never be world beaters nor will the game develop simply because of the weather.

  • Droch Bhuachaill

    thanks lads. Though i still dont’ have a clue why one poor unfortunate Zimbabwean got thrown out for accidentally touching the wood thing behind him with his foot.

    I’m an outsider peering into the world of cricket. I see it as a curious sport which is strange to me probably because i don’t understand it. I’ve always wondered how ‘outsiders’ see the Gaelic games- do i just think that they are fantastic spectacles just because I was brought up to believe so or ar they truly great sports?

  • esmereldavillalobos

    Law 35 (Hit wicket)
    1. Out Hit wicket
    (a) The striker is out Hit wicket if, after the bowler has entered his delivery stride and while the ball is in play, his wicket is put down either by the striker’s bat or by his person as described in Law 28.1(a)(ii) and (iii) (Wicket put down)
    either (i) in the course of any action taken by him in preparing to receive or in receiving a delivery,
    or (ii) in setting off for his first run immediately after playing, or playing at, the ball,
    or (iii) if he makes no attempt to play the ball, in setting off for his first run, providing that in the opinion of the umpire this is immediately after he has had the opportunity of playing the ball,
    or (iv) in lawfully making a second or further stroke for the purpose of guarding his wicket within the provisions of Law 34.3 (Ball lawfully struck more than once).
    (b) If the striker puts his wicket down in any of the ways described in Law 28.1(a)(ii) and (iii) (Wicket put down) before the bowler has entered his delivery stride, either umpire shall call and signal Dead ball.

    2. Not out Hit wicket
    Notwithstanding 1 above, the batsman is not out under this Law should his wicket be put down in any of the ways referred to in 1 above if
    (a) it occurs after he has completed any action in receiving the delivery, other than in 1(a)(ii), (iii) or (iv) above.

    (b) it occurs when he is in the act of running, other than in setting off immediately for his first run.

    (c) it occurs when he is trying to avoid being run out or stumped.

    (d) it occurs while he is trying to avoid a throw-in at any time.

    (e) the bowler, after entering his delivery stride, does not deliver the ball. In this case either umpire shall immediately call and signal Dead ball. See Law 23.3 (Umpire calling and signalling Dead ball).

    (f) the delivery is a No ball.

    That’s what I mean by complicated! And there’s another 41 of them! Simply DB, if a batsman treads on his stumps (the vertical sticks behind him) and knocks off the bails (the smaller bits of wood on top of the stumps) he’s out. Of course the other side has to appeal for him to be given out (ie say “How’s that?”). I remember in an England vs WI Test match that Dominic Cork trod on his stumps and no-one from the WI noticed. Calm as you like after completing 2 runs Cork picked up the dislodged bail, put it back on the stumps and continued batting – isn’t cricket marvellous?

    Can’t really comment on Gaelic games as I still watch regularly on TV and love the spectacle.

  • Though i still dont’ have a clue why one poor unfortunate Zimbabwean got thrown out for accidentally touching the wood thing behind him with his foot.

    There are 11 ways for a batsman to be dismissed in cricket.

    I’d like to see mnob try and explain lbw in 25 words.

    In my experience, pretty much any sport is a great spectacle at its top levels as long as you can understand the rules.

  • DK

    “Can someone please explain the rules of cricket to me in less than 25 words to this ignorant Kerryman? I was watching it last night and thought we were winning when losing, losing when winning, the winning again while drawing.”

    Your description is pretty good. Here is another from

    “Prior to the commencement of play the two Captains come out from the Pavilion onto the Pitch to toss a coin to determine which team is “in” or “out”. They then go back in and the team which is out come out and two members of the team which is in come out. The remainder of the team that is in stay in until it is their turn to come out to be in.
    Two members of the team which is out then take it in turns to bowl to the players who are in, attempting to get them out. If a player who is in is out then he goes in and another member of the team that is in comes out to be in.
    This continues until ten players on the team that is in are out at which point the team that was in is all out, including the player who is not out. Now all the players, both in and out and not out, go in so that the team that was in can become the team that is out and they can come out to be out and the team that was out is now in and can start to come out to be in.”

    And you thought that Northern Irish politics was complicated.

  • Droch Bhuachaill

    godblastit i give up. I’m off to watch cuttin’ n pullin’ n’ dragging n puckin’

  • Mark

    Does someone have pictures of the Irish fans with the “tri-colour, union flah and tattoos” like someone else commented on?

  • mnob

    lbw – quite simple – if the ball while heading towards the stumps after being bowled hits the batsmans leg then he’s out.

    (19 words)

    Thats my version and I’m sticking to it.
    (OK there are a few teenie extra bits ….)

  • Aaron McDaid

    Indeed. Just like the offside rule in soccer, LBW is simple enough and a short description will do for the vast majority of cases.

    Now, rugby is something that still confuses me. I think all sports conspire to make the rules as awkward as possible. I’ve found I’m only able to fully understand the official rules after I’ve picked up an understanding through playing or watching the game for some time. Then when I finally do understand all the rules, I feel the original official rules could have been written a lot more clearly.

  • Mick Fealty

    I don’t entirely get this weather thing. How many matches are lost in Ireland compared to England?

    Though this World Cup is a fantastic experience for the team and the island as a whole, I wonder if the route out of minnow status is likely to be more prosaic.

    Strikes me that the one thing Ireland need is regular out of country standard matches. We’re just not good enough to play first class county cricket, but a 20 year plan to take us from keen amateurs to regularly playing with the big boys, could provide a bit more excitement not least because of more regular visits from better English sides.