Ireland's nervy Italian Job
Ireland made it two wins from three at the ICC World Twenty20 qualifier with a two-wicket victory over Italy in Abu Dhabi.
Last Updated: 15/03/12 10:07am
Ireland made it two wins from three at the ICC World Twenty20 qualifier with a two-wicket victory over Italy in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
The pre-tournament favourites lost their opening clash with Namibia before a convincing win over Kenya on Wednesday.
Despite restricting Italy to just 100 for seven they were made to work for victory, reaching 104 for eight with two balls to spare thanks to Gary Wilson's unbeaten run-a-ball 30.
Italy scored just one run in the first 15 balls, with opener Andy Northcote falling to Paul Stirling for a duck.
Boyd Rankin then took the first of three wickets before Italy's key pairing of Michael Di Venuto and Gareth Berg put on 39 for the third wicket.
George Dockrell had Australia-born Di Venuto lbw for 23 and Stirling returned to dismiss Berg for 19.
Ireland kept the runs down for the remainder to set up a seemingly straightforward chase.
But both Kevin O'Brien and Ed Joyce failed to hit double figures, while Stirling (17), Will Porterfield (19) and Alex Cusack (15) got in and then out.
A nervy finish was in store but Surrey's Wilson saw them over the line and keeps Ireland on course to qualify for the next stage as 16 countries battle for two spots at the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka later this year.