THE HILLS cricket club member Max Sorensen played his part in another marquee day for the sport last Wednesday as he helped his part in helping the Irish team to victory over reigning world T20 champions West Indies at Sabina Park, Jamaica.
He chipped in with an economical spell of one for 24 from his four overs, picking up the key wicket of Dwayne Bravo, limiting the Windies to a paltry total of 116 from their 20 overs.
Ireland duly chased down that total to record another famous win at the scene of their greatest triumph, the St Patrick’s Day victory against Pakistan at the 2007 World Cup to score another famous win in the Caribbean.
The six wicket success over the reigning ICC World Twenty20 Champions, the West Indies, on their own turf was built around a superb effort from Ireland in the field and an ice-cool innings of 40 not out from the veteran Irish left-hander Ed Joyce.
It did look at first like the hosts would post a big total as the powerful Dwayne Smith and Chris Gayle got the hosts off to a good start. A pair of huge sixes from Smith got the West Indian innings in motion.
But Tim Murtagh was brought on early on and he duly made the breakthrough as he had Smith caught in the deep by Sorensen.
From there, Ireland kept a controlled line and length with Cusack taking the key wicket of Gayle for 19, stemming the run rate as West Indies crawled to 58 for two after 10 overs.
With run pressure on, a flurry of wickets fell, eventually restricting West Indies to just 116 but Ireland started their reply poorly with both openers falling early on.
Ed Joyce and Gary Wilson and subsequently Andrew Poynter recovered the situation with the run rate staying under control and while there were a few jitters, Kevin O’Brien clipped a couple of boundaries when called upon to get the side over the line with five balls to spare.
And so it was left to Kevin O’Brien, one of only two survivors from the team that beat Pakistan back on St Patrick’s Day in 2007 to hit the winning runs for Ireland but tellingly unlike seven years ago there were no wild celebrations from the Irish but more a determined delight with a view to the further challenges ahead.
The victory is part of Ireland’s preparations for the World Cup that gets under way in mid-March in Bangladesh, with Sorensen in line to play a part once again on St Patrick’s Day against Zimbabwe in their opening tie.