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Howzat for drama? Ireland's cricketers hang on against Kenya

Ireland have beaten Kenya by just ten runs after two days of their Intercontinental Cup match in Mombasa.

Albert van der Merwe (left) and George Dockrell celebrate (file photo).
Albert van der Merwe (left) and George Dockrell celebrate (file photo).
Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

IRELAND CLUNG ON for a nailbiting 10-run win against Kenya in a wild Intercontinental Cup match in Mombasa today.

Ireland led by a slender 47 runs overnight after a combined 22 wickets fell on yesterday’s spin-friendly opening day, and resumed their second innings this morning on 81/2.

A late-order collapse threw the match wide open, as Ireland gave up their final five wickets for just 10 runs, setting Kenya a rather modest target of just 119 runs to win.

But once again, Ireland were saved by their bowlers as George Dockrell and Albert van der Merwe tore through the Kenya batsmen. None of the hosts’ first eight batsmen managed to reach double digits before their dismissal, which left Kenya floundering on 36/8 by mid-afternoon.

A defiant late stand by Nelson Odhiambo and Hiren Varaiya threatened to spoil Ireland’s party as they racked up a 58-run partnership to leave Kenya needing 25 runs to win from their final wicket.

Just as victory seemed within their grasp, Varaiya was caught by Alex White off van der Merwe’s ball — his sixth wicket of the innings — to give Ireland victory by 10 runs.

The win consolidates Ireland’s position at the top of the Intercontinental Cup table with three wins from three games.

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Ireland will remain in Mombasa for two one-day internationals against Kenya on Saturday and Monday. The games are part of the qualifying series for the 2015 World Cup.

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Niall Kelly

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