Ireland recover from early wobble to beat Namibia

John Mooney (left) and Namibia wicketkeeper Ewald Steenkamp
John Mooney hit two sixes and nine fours in his 73-ball 86 at Stormont

John Mooney's 86 helped Ireland recover from a nervous start to beat Namibia by 26 runs in Monday's opening one-day game between the sides.

The Irish were in trouble at 107-6 in the 27th over but Mooney's knock and Niall O'Brien's 57 helped the home team post a respectable total of 241.

Wickets fell regularly in the Namibian reply with Gerrie Snyman top-scoring with 61.

Alex Cusack was the pick of the Ireland bowlers with three wickets.

Cusack conceded only 29 runs from his 7.4 overs while Boyd Rankin bowled economically for his two wickets with George Dockrell and Trent Johnston also claiming two dismissals as the Namibians were all out for 215 in the 49th over.

Three Christi Viljoen wickets had the Irish in trouble at 42-3 and the hosts then slipped to 97-5.

O'Brien's dogged 57 helped Ireland recover to 146-6 but Mooney's knock from 73 balls helped the Irish bat until the final over.

Spinner Dockrell also contributed a useful late 22.

Paul Stirling and William Porterfield had put on 30 by the fourth over when Viljoen dismissed Stirling with Ewald Steenkamp taking the catch.

Alex Cusack's dismissal was quickly followed by Porterfield's departure to leave the Irish wobbling on 42-3.

Gary Wilson and Niall O'Brien put on 45 for the fourth wicket before Wilson was caught by Gerhard Rudolph off Stephen Baard's bowlling.

Andrew White and Kevin O'Brien both departed cheaply off Snyman's bowling to leave the Irish in a degree of trouble at 107-6 before Niall O'Brien and Mooney helped rally the home side.

Louis Klazinga's dismissal of O'Brien left the score 146-7 with almost 15 overs still left.

However Mooney's forceful innings, which included nine fours and two sixes, helped the Irish get to within one ball of batting out their 50 overs, with Dockrell also contributing late runs.

The sides meet again at the Belfast venue on Tuesday.

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