Handicapped by the retirement of opening batsman Murray Commins, Ireland Wolves fell seven runs short in the first of five one-day matches against Namibia in Windhoek yesterday.

South African-born Commins, one of four players in the squad who qualify for Ireland this year, pulled up in the ninth over after completing a second run. He had to be helped off the pitch with a painful back spasm and could not return to complete his innings. He was being treated overnight but had not been ruled out of the second game which starts at 8.30 this morning.

Ireland were set 254 for victory and were on course as late as the 49th over when Waringstown all-rounder Graham Hume, another South African, hit a four and a six off successive balls to leave the Wolves needing 16 from nine balls.

But next ball he attempted to run a leg bye to the wicket-keeper and was fatally sent back by Neil Rock who had also set off for the run. The direct hit by the keeper left Hume stranded and, crucially, No 10 batsman Josh Manley in strike.
Two dot balls still left Wolves needing 16 from the final over and Rock compounded his decision to send back big-hitting Hume by hitting the third ball straight to backward point.

There was still time for Manley to hit Namibia captain JJ Smit for six but it came a ball too late and the Wolves must now play catch-up in the series.
Rock, who won the toss, had scored 47 from 38 balls, but had hit only one six and three fours, although boundary hitting proved hard for all the Wolves batsmen on the slow pitch, the same as used for all three T20 internationals last week.

Their total of 13 fours and four sixes only one came between the sixth and 26th overs compared with the Namibia openers, Stephan Baard and Divin La Cock who hit 19 between them in an opening stand of exactly 100.

To their credit the bowlers conceded only 153 off the remaining 33 overs. Fionn Hand, surprisingly given only five overs, and Gareth Delany three wickets and 25 off 30 balls both made their first appearances of the tour.

SCORES:
Namibia 253-9 (50 overs, D La Cock 70, JJ Smit 41, S Baard 40; G Delany 3-42, J Manley 3-47, F Hand 1-17, B White 1-59)
Ireland Wolves 246-8 (50 overs, C Campher 56, N Rock 47, S Doheny 37, J McCollum 28, G Delany 25, M Commins 11 ret hurt, G Hume 11, F Hand 10).
Namibia won by 7 runs.