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Ireland crush Canada in WCup cricket qualifiers

Ireland crushed Canada by nine wickets in the 2011 Cricket World Cup Qualifier tournament final on Sunday.

Ireland's skipper William Porterfield finished unbeaten on 104 after a 164-minute stand at Centurion Park as Ireland made 188 for the loss of only one wicket after Canada were all out for 185 six balls short of their alloted 50 overs.

Seamer Trent Johnston delivered a career-best 5-14 in a 10-over spell that included four maidens to set up a second victory for Ireland over Canada after winning a first-round clash by six wickets two weeks ago.

"We were beaten in the final by Scotland four years ago and wanted to go one step further this time. The way the guys have played over the past 19 days has been fantastic," said Porterfield.

"When Trent came on he was magnificent. He has been a great performer for us, not just over the last few weeks but for years now, and deserves all the plaudits he gets.

"He had a niggle coming into this match and was in pain after a couple of overs, but the way he fought through that and bowled as well as he did was inspirational."

Canada struggled from the start with the bat at the Test venue between Pretoria and Johannesburg and were staring humiliation at 92-7 before Umar Bhatti and Havir Baidwan added 39 runs.

After Baidwan (14) was trapped leg before, Bhatti found an even more prolific partner in Khurram Chohan and they added 54 runs to spare some Canadian blushes.

Bhatti was run out for 46 and Chohan made 26 while Boyd Rankin also impressed with the ball for Ireland, claiming 2-34 in his 10 overs that included three maidens.

Porterfield has been an inspirational leader during the final qualifying tournament for the World Cup in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka and punished Canadian bowling and fielding that left much to be desired.

His half century came up in 80 balls and with able support from Gary Wilson (38) and Niall O'Brien (38 not out) the outcome was never in doubt on a hot, clear autumn day.

Netherlands defeated Kenya by six wickets to finish third, Afghanistan won by 89 runs against Scotland to claim fifth spot and United Arab Emirates triumphed by five wickets against Namibia to come seventh.

Ireland, Canada, Netherlands and Kenya qualify for the World Cup and the quartet plus Afghanistan and Scotland earn ODI status for the next four years and automatic places in the 2009-2010 Intercontinental Cup.

Copyright 2009 AFP American Edition
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Publication:AFP American Edition
Date:Apr 20, 2009
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