Mark Adair stars as Ireland move closer to playoffs

Ireland 110 for 2 (Stirling 58,* 1-16) beat Jersey 105 (Stevens 25, Adair 3-10, Delany 2-12) by eight wickets

Mark Adair‘s miserly spell embodied a tight all-round bowling effort as Ireland took a step closer to clinching a spot in the playoffs with an eight-wicket win over Jersey.

Man-of-the-Match Adair struck with the fourth ball of the game, getting Harrison Carlyon driving to mid-off for a duck. Jersey briefly counterattacked through Nick Greenwood and Ben Stevens, who flicked and drove for a trio of fours off Boyd Rankin in the fourth over. The pair added 36 in quick time as Greenwood concluded the boundary sequence with an edge past Gary Wilson for four before he was bowled by David Delany to end the fifth, beaten for pace driving to make it 36 for 2.

Jersey would not score another boundary until the 16th over as Ireland strangled them. Adair produced a wicket maiden in the sixth over, foxing Jonty Jenner with a slower ball to trap him leg before for a second-ball duck. David Delany struck again next over as Wilson kept a slip in for the new batsman Jake Dunford and it resulted in an edge there to Andy Balbirnie for a golden duck. The middle order continued to struggle as Craig Young induced a drive from Stevens to Gareth Delany at cover for 25 to end the 10th over at 49 for 5.

Ireland then suffered an injury scare when David Delany limped off midway through his third over in the 13th with a leg problem but Ireland team officials said later they believed it was just cramp. George Dockrell came on to finish the over and struck with the wicket of Ben Ward who skied a drive to long-off. Corey Bisson charged Gareth’s legspin to be stumped, making it 76 for 7 in 15.

Adair came back in the 17th to claim his third as Dominic Blampied edged a drive low to Wilson behind the stumps for 20. Charles Perchard drove a sharp return catch back to Boyd Rankin in the 19th before Anthony Hawkins-Kay was run-out off the final ball of the innings, trying to steal a bye, as Jersey were dismissed for 105.

Paul Stirling muscled Ireland’s chase with an unbeaten 58 off 37 balls. He added 35 with Kevin O’Brien for the first wicket before O’Brien drove Perchard to Hawkins-Kay at extra-cover. The only other wicket to fall was Balbirnie for 33, skying a drive off Blampied’s legspin for another catch at extra-cover by Hawkins-Kay.

Stirling brought up his fifty with a six over long-on to bring Ireland one shot away from victory. He finished it off by slog-sweeping Blampied over square leg for another six.

Ireland face winless Nigeria in their final Group B match. A heavy win could boost their net run rate and put them in position to possibly claim first place depending on the tiebreaker as they jostle with Oman and Canada for pole position.

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