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We were looking forward to a cricket match but all we got was a load of rain instead. Here’s our over-by-over report as Ireland looked to keep their World T20 campaign alive in a winner-takes-all match against the West Indies.

As always, we’d love to hear from you, so send us your thoughts and comments on all the action.

E-mail us at niall@thescore.ie, tweet us @thescore_ie, post to our Facebook wall or leave a comment below.

Match abandoned due to rain — No result, Ireland eliminated

Afternoon all and welcome to TheScore.ie’s live over-by-over coverage of Ireland’s second — and, dare we say, possibly last — game at the World Twenty20 tournament.

Of course, there’s no point in being defeatest. If Ireland can beat the West Indies in Colombo’s Premadasa Stadium, they will go through to the Super 8 stages as Group B runners-up. It really is win or bust.

The West Indies have won the toss and put Ireland in to bat first, a wise move considering the side’s inability to post a meaningful score against Australia on Wednesday.

We’ll be up and running at 3pm.

The teams are in. Most of Ireland’s squad has recovered from a bad virus picked up over the weekend but the one major casualty is Boyd Rankin, who sits this one out. Max Sorensen comes in to replace him.

Ireland: William Porterfield (c), Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Niall O’Brien, Kevin O’Brien, Gary Wilson, Alex Cusack, Trent Johnston, Nigel Jones, Max Sorensen, George Dockrell.

And here’s the West Indies team. You may have heard of one or two of these lads. They’re not bad…

West Indies: Chris Gayle, Johnson Charles, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Kieron Pollard,  Andre Russell, Darren Sammy, Dinesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Sunil Narine, Fidel Edwards.

WICKET! Ireland 0-1 (Porterfield b Edwards 0) Ah here. First ball of the match and captain William Porterfield is on his way back to the pavilion already. It’s an absolute disaster as Fidel Edwards completely stumps Porterfield with a swinger and then steals WWE wrestler John Cena’s trademark celebration.

Disaster.

1st over: Ireland 8-1 – Ed Joyce probably hoped that he’d have a couple of minutes to get settled before he was called in to bat, but no such luck. He does well to settle Ireland after that awful start, sending Edwards’ first delivery for a four and then edging another boundary to long leg.

2nd over: Ireland 10/1 — Ravi Rampaul comes in to try his luck with the new ball and he mixes up his deliveries to keep Stirling and Joyce on their toes. There’s a big, big appeal for Stirling’s wicket as a full delivery carries through to the wicket-keeper but the umpire waves it away. There was a sound but replays show that it was bat-on-ground rather than bat-on-ball.

3rd over: Ireland 17/1 — The luck runs both ways for Paul Stirling. He picks up his first boundary of the afternoon with a slightly mis-hit four, but then watches as a high drive over extra cover is picked up just short of the boundary and returned for just two runs.

The rain is starting to come down now in Colombo and that’s far from ideal for Ireland. If we don’t get enough cricket played and a no result is declared, it is the West Indies who will go through by virtue of their better run rate.

4th over: Ireland 23/1 – This is better from Ireland (well, it could hardly be worse, could it?) Joyce cuts the first ball of the over for his third four of the afternoon and then picks up a lucky double thanks to a fielding error from Johnson Charles.

5th over: Ireland 33/1 – That’s the best over so far with 10 runs as Paul Stirling begins to catch fire. Darren Sammy has the ball and he sees two successive deliveries fired away for fours by Ireland’s young star. Stirlo and Joyce add singles apiece to bring the run rate up past the 6.5 mark. Not brilliant but a decent recovery after a poor start.

MATCH STOPPED DUE TO RAIN

That’s awful timing from an Irish perspective. Just as Joyce and Stirling begin to settle into a nice steady rhythm, the rain picks up and the covers come on. Let’s hope it blows over quickly and we can get a bit more cricket played.

“Goin to be done by the rain again!!” writes Seamus Direen in the comments. What is it about the World T20, the rain and Ireland? Had it not been for the pesky weather back in 2010, we might have eliminated England — who, I don’t need to remind you, went on to win the entire tournament.

Can we just claim that one retrospectively for ourselves?

Good news — the covers are starting to come off so it looks like we might have some cricket sooner rather than later.

The giantkilling is still on, kids. Don’t worry.

So the latest from Colombo is that play should start in approximately 10 minutes.

While we’re waiting, you might want to listen to the West Indies cricket anthem. It’s a gem.

YouTube Credit: MrEA00

Spoke too soon. The heavens have opened again and the covers are back on again. This could be a long afternoon.

As things stand, if play resumes shortly and we don’t have any further interruptions, we might still be able to have a full game. That’s about as likely as <insert own rain-related analogy here>

Wahay, the covers are back off! With a bit of luck, we could have play in 10 minutes.

The latest from Colombo is that we’ll have a 19-over-a-side match now, barring any further delays. That’s good news for Ireland who need as much cricket as possible today if they’re to have any chance of a win.

We’re due to restart at 4.15pm Irish time.

PLAY RESUMES: Narine bowls to Joyce to start the sixth over.

WICKET! Ireland 33-2 (Joyce b Narine 17) Disaster! Narine comes in and with his third ball, takes Ed Joyce’s wicket. It looked like Joyce was expecting turn that never came, and as he went to play the sweep, was bowled clean around his legs.

A cruel blow. Niall O’Brien will be up next for Ireland.

6th over — Ireland 35/2: Singles apiece from O’Brien and Stirling as Narine closes out a tidy over for just two runs.

WICKET! Ireland 37/3 (Stirling c Gayle b Sammy 19) Oh. That’s Paul Stirling gone too as Sammy’s delivery hops up off the top of his bat. Bread and butter stuff for Chris Gayle and Ireland are really struggling now.

7th over: Ireland 42/3 – Gary Wilson is next in and he sends his second ball, a slowish delivery from Sammy, over the head of the wicket-keeper for four. He singles off the final ball of the over.

8th over: Ireland 44/3 — If Ireland are to have any chance, they’ll need to find some way of dealing with Sunil Narine. He gives up a single apiece to Niall O’Brien and Gary Wilson as Ireland’s run rate drops around 5.5.

9th over: Ireland 50/3 — Singles off every ball of Darren Sammy’s over and it could have been slightly better but for some excellent deep fielding by the Windies.

10th over: Ireland 57/3 – Ireland are picking up the runs where they can; there’s only two dot balls in the over as Narine returns to bowl his third. Wilson boosts the total with his second four, a nice sweep past the wicket-keeper.

11th over: Ireland 65/3 – Beautiful shot by Gary Wilson to finish out the over. He steps up into a full toss from Andre Russell and fires it over wide mid-off for a four. Add two singles apiece for himself and O’Brien to that and it’s another good over from Ireland. Run rate nearing the six mark again.

WICKET! Ireland 70-4 (Wilson c Ramdin b Gayle 21) It might be lashing rain in Dublin but it’s a Gayle force that’s causing Ireland problems in Colombo. The legendary all-rounder comes in for his first over and takes out Gary Wilson, who nicks the ball through to the wicket-keeper Ramdin.

Gayle’s celebration is quite something as well — like bad dad dancing, only waaaay cooler.

12th over: Ireland 70/4 – Kevin O’Brien comes and starts with two dot balls off Gayle. That’s a five-run over for Ireland, two doubles and a singles all coming courtesy of Niall O’Brien.

Boy could Ireland do with a big innings from one of the brothers here…

13th over: Ireland 81/4 -- Better from Ireland who seem to be enjoying themselves against Andre Russell so far this afternoon. Niall O’Brien wallops a top edge into the stands and then adds a single. Kevin follows up with a clipped double and a single and Russell throws in a wide for good measure. More of that please.

14th over: Ireland 88/4 – Here comes the Gayle again, but there’s no problems for the O’Briens this time as they pick up runs off every ball, helped by a couple of leg byes. Five runs to go for the Irish — it’s a 19-over match for both sides due to the rain earlier — so they’ll want to start taking a few more chances soon.

15th over: Ireland 96/4 – BOOM! Fidel Edwards comes back in to the Windies’ attack and his final ball of the over is rocketed for six by Kevin O’Brien. Four to go, more of that please.

WICKET! Ireland 96/4 (Niall O’Brien b Gayle 25) How did that get through? Gayle’s opening ball looks like it will be a fairly straightforward block of Niall O’Brien but somehow it sneaks under his bat and clatters the stumps.

That’s the last thing Ireland needed. The O’Briens were just beginning to find their rhythm.

16th over: Ireland 107/5 – Wham, bam, thank you ma’am. Trent Johnston sends the final ball of Gayle’s over for six but at this stage, it’s looking like it will be much too little and far too late.

WICKET! Ireland 107/6 (Kevin O’Brien b Rampaul 13) Uh oh. Rampaul comes in to the attack and with a full and straight delivery, clean bowls KOB. Game over?

17th over: Ireland 112/6 — If Ireland are to have any chance of making this game competitive, now is the time when they need to be racking up the runs. They’re not though and as Nigel Jones comes in to join Trent, they can only manage five runs between them.

18th over: Ireland 122/6 — Attaboy Jonesy! Narine comes in to say his farewell with the ball and Jones blams his second delivery high into the stands for a six — only Ireland’s fourth of the innings. The final ball of the innings is a no-ball, giving Jones a freebie with which he troubles the boundary again but Pollard gets a cross to cut it out in time.

19th over: Ireland 129/6 So that’s it. Nothing too risky from Jones and Johnston to finish off but they take seven runs off Rampaul’s final over and set the West Indies a target of 130. It will be a huge upset for Ireland to win from here but with a few early wickets, who knows?

IRELAND SET WEST INDIES A TARGET OF 130 TO WIN

While we go to get our Duckworth-Lewis calculator (that’s a joke, we don’t have one), here’s some appropriate music for you:

YouTube Credit: EurythmicsVEVO

If we do get to play five overs of the West Indies innings, they’ll need 44 to win and go through to the Super 8. Even that much is looking unlikely, sadly.

It seems that play can’t continue tonight past 11pm local time in Colombo. It’s now 10.10pm and we will need at least five overs to avoid a no result and automatic Irish elimination. If any of you have a line to the rain gods, now might be a good time to give them a shout.

Ok, here’s the skinny. If play starts before 6.19pm Irish time, the West Indies will play five overs to chase a total of 44. If there’s no play before 6.19pm, it’s game over, no result and Ireland go home.

Tick tock, tick tock…

MATCH ABANDONED — NO RESULT — IRELAND ARE ELIMINATED

That’s it, folks, both for this evening’s match and for Ireland’s tournament. The rain means that there will be no time for the West Indies innings today and so a “No Result” is declared with both teams receiving a point.

Ireland and the West Indies both finish on a point but, because of their superior net run rate, it’s the Windies who join Australia in the Super 8 stages.

As at the 2010 World T20 when rain forced a no result in their match against England, a soggy Ireland go home.

The rain has a lot to answer for.

That’s our lot so. A completely unsatisfactory end to a disappointing tournament for Ireland. The West Indies probably wouldn’t have had too much trouble in hitting their target if they had been given the chance, but we’ll never know. If you’re thinking of claiming a moral victory, that wouldn’t be enough to keep us in Sri Lanka either…

Thanks for reading and for your comments.

About the author:

Niall Kelly

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