Kennedys Magnificent Seven Sets Up WCQ Decider

pHOTO COURTESY OF crICKET eUROPE

GRAHAM KENNEDY’S seven-wicket haul saw Ireland Under 19’s claim an emphatic 142 run win against Denmark in the penultimate match of the Under 19 World Cup Qualifiers in Jersey.

The win sets up a virtual winner takes all decider with Scotland today, given the tightness of the net-run-rate margin between the two sides.

The prize that awaits the victor is a place in the finals which are held in New Zealand next January.

Ireland produced a clinical all-round display to dispose of Denmark, whose brittle batting line-up was again ruthlessly exposed by Kennedy.

Thanikaithasan (40) and Durrani (28) took the Danes to 95 for 1 in their pursuit of a target of 266, and at that stage were actually ahead of the Irish on DLS.

However, an all too familiar collapse followed with Kennedy taking 7 for 13 and Varun Chopra 2 for 15 as Denmark lost 9 wickets for 29 runs, bowled out for 124 in 40 overs.

Kennedy’s haul was enough to earn him his third Man-of-the-Match award on his way to topping the tournament leading wicket takers list with 17.

Earlier the Irish had produced an excellent batting display to post 266 for 6 in conditions which got better as the innings progressed.

Jamie Grassi (1) fell in the second over of the day, but Waringstown’s Morgan Topping and Hills opener Mark Donegan shared a second wicket stand of 103 to get the innings back on track.

Donegan played some lovely trademark cover drives, hitting 8 fours in his 59, before unluckily slipping and stepping on his wicket.

Topping also batted superbly, and was unfortunate to miss out on the first century of the tournament, falling four short.

There were breezy cameos from Harry Tector (32), Sam Murphy (43*) and Josh Little (17*) as the Irish finished strongly.

“I thought that was our best batting performance of the tournament, the wicket was tricky and the ball swung around a bit,” said Ireland Head Coach Ryan Eagleson.

“Morgan Topping was the anchor of the innings with a very well made 96 and there were some cameos at the back end which took us to our highest total of the tournament.

“With the ball we weren’t really firing on all cylinders for the first ten overs but then Graham Kennedy came on and did what he’s done all week; bowled straight, mixed up his pace and produced outstanding figures.”

Eagleson admitted to a selection dilemma for the crucial show-down with Scotland at Grainville, with all 14 players in with a chance of a place.

“It will be hard to select an eleven, as all the boys have played and all have contributed. It’s a nice problem to have but I’m sure whatever team goes on the park will do us proud.”

Under 19 World Cup Qualifier (Europe) at Grainville, Jersey

Ireland 266-6 (50 overs; M Topping 96, M Donegan 59, S Murphy 43*, H Tector 32, S Thanikaithasan 2-47, O Hald 2-56)
Denmark 124 (40 overs; S Thanikaithasan 40; G Kennedy 7-13, V Chopra 2-25)

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