Eastern Province XI (148/3) beat Ireland (127) by 21 runs
IRELAND CRICKETERS FINISHED up their preparations for the World T20 qualifiers with a narrow defeat against an Eastern Province XI in Port Elizabeth this afternoon.
Chasing a total of 149 runs, Ireland left themselves with too much to do and came up 21 runs short when George Dockrell was dismissed with the third-last ball of the innings.
The Irish attack did well to limit their hosts as this afternoon’s final warm-up match got underway, and had conceded just 44 runs for two wickets by the time Dockrell bowled Colin Ackermann at the end of the ninth over.
But James Price and Michael Smith pieced together a partnership of 77 not out shortly afterwards, leaving Eastern Province on a manageable 148/3 after 20 overs.
The Irish batsman never really got into their stride despite captain William Porterfield contributing 48 before he was caught by Vaaltyn off Ackermann’s ball.
On 112/5 with three overs remaining, Ireland needed 37 runs off their final 18 balls to make it two wins from two. But the middle and lower order were picked off with ease as they went for the boundaries and Ireland were all out for 127.
Ireland now move on to Dubai ahead of their first World Cup qualifier against Namibia next Tuesday.