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Ireland’s T20 World Cup bid all but over after shocking defeat to Canada

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Ireland captain Paul Stirling trudges off as Canada’s Jeremy Gordon and Nicholas Kirton celebrate his wicket during their T20 World Cup clash in New York

Ireland will be heading home from the T20 World Cup after next weekend with tails between legs after suffering a second chastening Group A defeat in 48 hours at the Nassau County International Stadium – losing to Canada by 12 runs.

Less blame could be laid at the surface of the New York pitch this time, although it was by no means perfect, and no blame at all on Mark Adair and George Dockrell who almost rescued the day with a thrilling seventh-wicket partnership of 62 from 41 balls.

The Boys in Green had drifted to 59-6, in reply to 137-7, and not scored a boundary since the powerplay when the pair came together, but Adair struck three fours and a six and Dockrell also cleared the ropes to leave a not impossible 17 to win from the final over.

Sadly, Adair missed the first ball and skied the next back to the bowler to depart for another excellent effort of 34 from 24 balls and Dockrell was stranded on 30 not out from 23 as Canada comfortably saw out the win.

“That was a tough loss,” skipper Paul Stirling said. “It was certainly a gettable target. We just need to improve all-round and hopefully we can show a better game in the two matches left.”

Stirling must have thought he had done half the work when he won the toss and asked Canada to bat, but the same pitch that had been close to unplayable against India had been rolled into submission since Wednesday.

After Adair – inevitably – made the breakthrough, Craig Young, into the attack for leg-spinner Ben White, picked up two wickets and Canada were struggling on 53-4 when Gareth Delany held a one-handed return catch off his first ball.

Stirling restricted Delany and Curtis Campher to two economical overs each while his quicker bowlers proved easier to hit, with the exception of Adair who returned 1-23 and a top quality two-wicket penultimate over from Barry McCarthy.

The squad will now fly back to Florida with time to reflect on where the campaign went wrong before Friday’s third game against the USA and what was supposed to be a pivotal clash with Pakistan to decide who joined India in the Super Eight.

After the USA’s thrilling Super Over win against Pakistan on Thursday night, it’s quite possible next Sunday’s ‘decider’ could be a dead rubber. In any case, Ireland with their dismal nett run rate are already all but ‘mathematically’ out.

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