Cricket Ireland Stunned By USA In Opening Contest Of Winter Tour

They're back in action tomorrow evening.

Ireland kicked off their winter tour of America and the West Indies with a shock 26 run defeat to the USA in the first of two T20s.

America went into the game as huge underdogs ranked 30th in the ICC T20 rankings with Ireland being the first ever full member nation to tour there for a series.

Despite the supposed gulf in class, America looked to take the initiative winning the toss and choosing to bat, early that looked to be the wrong decision with Ireland’s opening bowler Barry McCarthy claiming a wicket with just the second ball of the game.

Ireland’s strong start continued with five overs gone they had reduced America to 23/4, McCarthy bagging three wickets with Simi Singh claiming the other, the USA’s top order was decimated with none of their top order batters reaching double figures.

This brought Sushant Modani and Gajanand Singh to the crease. Two inexperienced international batters with less than ten recognised international caps between them. They guided their side to the half way mark at 51/4 as the USA recovery began.

The tide started to turn around the 13th over with 20 runs coming off of the over from Curtis Campher who was on his way to an expensive 1-41.

Both Singh and Modani racked up the runs on course to maiden international half centuries before falling to Barry McCarthy and Ben White respectively.

Runs continued to flow for the USA with Marty Kain racking up an impressive 39 from 15 balls which was aided by a hugely expensive final over of the innings from Mark Adair which saw Ireland concede 23 runs.

Sloppy bowling and questionable field placements from Ireland helped the USA to 188/6 at the close of their innings a total that from the off seemed steep.

Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie moved up to open in place of the absent Kevin O’Brien alongside star man Paul Stirling.

Their partnership was short lived with the captain falling victim to a short ball from Ali Khan that left Ireland 12/1.

Sterling was the next man to fall racking up 31 runs before facing a ball that pitched well outside the stumps before jagging back inside rattling the top of middle stump, leaving Ireland with a large target to chase without either of their stars.

Curtis Campher was the next to fall after he and Lorcan Tucker guided Ireland to 74/3 at the half way point of the innings. The task at hand now looking more daunting by the ball as they required 114 more runs at a rate of over 11 runs per over.

Shane Getkate and Neil Rock were the next to go leaving Ireland five wickets down requiring 15 runs per over off the final five.

William McClintock was the final man to fall leaving Lorcan Tucker and Mark Adair to round out the innings as Ireland fell 26 runs short of the target.

Tucker starred with the bat racking up an impressive 57 off 49 balls, but it was in vain as Ireland lost momentum early and never really recovered failing to score enough boundaries to put America under any pressure late on.

Ireland will not have long to reflect on the loss with game two of the tour taking place the next day at the same ground before the three match 50 over series starts on Boxing Day.

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