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Tuesday 12 December 2017

Joyce on fire as Irish gain revenge for Kenya shock

ED JOYCE hit three sixes in a superb 88 as Ireland eased to a 117-run victory over Kenya yesterday in the second of a double-header of World Cup qualifying matches in Mombasa.

Ireland were facing a similar scenario to Saturday's upset defeat when they slumped to 76-4, but this time Joyce steadied the ship with a 124-ball innings that equalled his best score since returning to Ireland colours after a spell with England.

On another sweltering day on the east coast of Africa, Joyce started hesitantly, nudging six singles from 26 balls before opening up with the first of his five fours.

Ireland benefited from 10 penalty runs when the ball hit the fielding helmet not once but twice, and after Joyce went, Kevin O'Brien and Andrew White played valuable support roles in partnerships of 50 and 83. In the final onslaught, John Mooney blazed 23no from 14 balls to lift Ireland to 237-9 from 50 overs.

Veteran Trent Johnston followed up with two wickets in his opening spell and, when Alex Cusack also struck twice, Kenya were 37-5 and beaten.

After spinners George Dockrell and Paul Stirling had also taken two wickets apiece, Kenya were dismissed for 120 in the 36th over.

The victory cements Ireland's position at the top of the eight-team World Cricket League Championship with five wins from six games.

Ireland will wrap up their stay in Mombasa with three Twenty20 matches against Kenya, starting tomorrow.

Meanwhile, former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has called time on his one-day international career after his axing from the side yesterday, but the double World Cup-winning former skipper insists he is still available for selection to the Test side.

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