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Dublin: 13°C Tuesday 24 November 2020
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Ireland surge to top of table with thumping win on the road to Test match cricket

A thoroughly convincing win for Ireland in Windhoek.

The winning moment.
The winning moment.
Image: CricketIreland/Twitter

TWO DOWN, FIVE to go.

Ireland have moved to the top of the ICC Intercontinental Cup table with a dominant victory over Namibia as the quest to earn the right to play Test match cricket continued in faultless fashion.

After beginning their campaign with an innings victory over United Arab Emirates at Malahide in September, John Bracewell’s side safely negotiated another hurdle with minimal fuss.

Ireland have won this competition four of the last five editions but the stakes have been considerably raised this time around with the winner given the opportunity to play for a seat at the top table of the sport.

There’s still a long way to go but Ireland’s purposeful start is another reminder of their determination to grasp an opening they’ve waited so long for.

The margin of victory – by an innings and 107 runs – speaks volumes of Ireland’s enduring dominance at this level and they reinforced their credentials for ascension in Windhoek.

Granted Namibia aren’t a cricketing powerhouse but you can only beat what’s put on front of you and Ireland’s two wins have been as emphatic as they come in the longer-format of the game.

Once again, the victory was underpinned by an Ed Joyce double-century. It was the batsman’s second consecutive double ton in this competition as he and captain William Porterfield put Ireland into a position of supreme control.

Niall O'Brien celebrates Thumbs up for Ireland as their bid to win the I-Cup remained on track. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

After the bowlers had dismissed Namibia for 251 first time around, Tim Murtagh then led the charge with four early wickets to put the visitors on the cusp of victory inside three days.

As it was, some late order resistance delayed the inevitable before Ireland completed the win this morning.

“We couldn’t have started the tournament any better with two innings victories against two good sides,” Joyce told CricketIreland.ie.

“The bowlers deserve a huge amount of credit for taking 20 wickets on what was a very flat surface and our aim was to bat once which we also achieved. All in all, a thoroughly professional performance and we move onto our next challenge against PNG with a lot of confidence.”

It’s been a year of mixed fortunes for Ireland after their imposing performance at the World Cup in February and March but they now head into the winter on the back of another significant win.

There are plenty of areas for improvement and the opposition are likely to provide more resistance as the competition progresses but Ireland are sitting pretty after two rounds.

The next few months will provide an opportunity to recharge the batteries ahead of the next test in the form of Papua New Guinea at the turn of the year.

Scorecard:

Namibia: 251 & 212 all out (78.5 overs, JP Kotze 48, JJ Smit 45, Z Green 35, S Burger 34, G Snyman 31, T Murtagh 4-18, G Dockrell 3-55, P Stirling 2-27).

Ireland: 570/6 dec (128 overs, E Joyce 205*, W Porterfield 186, J Mooney 53*, K O’Brien 45*, S Poynter 33, G Wilson 25, S Burger 2-73, C Coombe 2-92).

Ireland win by an innings and 107 runs. 

screenshot.1445957099.85523 Source: www.icc-cricket.com

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About the author:

Ryan Bailey

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