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Ireland: International Tournaments
2005 ICC Trophy

The 2005 ICC Trophy was held in Ireland in the first two weeks of July with 12 teams vying for five places at the 2007 World Cup finals in the West Indies. 25 grounds would be used across the three major unions which was a major logistical challenge for the Irish organisers who had been used the 2002 European Championships as a trial run.

The twelve captains with the ICC Trophy and World Cup prior to the tournamentThe twelve captains with the ICC Trophy and World Cup prior to the tournament (©CricketEurope)

The weather played its part too, with only three matches lost to rain out of a total of 53 games (including warm-ups) which was quite remarkable, especially given the fact there were no reserve days set aside in the group stages held in Northern Ireland.

Group A looked on paper by far the easier of the two, with the Irish joined by Bermuda, UAE, Denmark, Uganda and the USA. Group B looked a much tougher proposition with Scotland, Canada, The Netherlands, Namibia, Oman and Papua New Guinea.

The format would see the top two in each group qualify for the World Cup automatically, while the third and fourth placed sides would play-off for the final World Cup slot in the most important all or nothing match of the competition.

Aftab Ahmed of Denmark is bowled by Uganda's NehalAftab Ahmed of Denmark is bowled by Uganda's Nehal (©CricketEurope)

Ireland got off to a winning start thanks to a 170-run partnership against Bermuda with Ed Joyce – making his first appearance in over four years – scoring a century and 18 year-old Eoin Morgan making 93. Hamish Anthony – who ten years previously had played three ODI’s for the West Indies - took five wickets for the USA, but in a losing cause as Ahmed Nadeem also claimed five as UAE won by 55 runs, with Khurram Khan making 79 and getting three wickets. Denmark beat Uganda by 28 runs with Thomas Hansen taking six wickets and Johan Malcolm-Hansen scoring 71. Sympathy though for Kenneth Kamyuka who took four wickets and scored a half century. One interesting footnote is that former England Test cricketer Neil Foster was assistant coach for the Danes.

Group B’s opening day saw one of the most controversial and dramatic games of the tournament as Canada and Namibia met at Ballygomartin Road. John Davison (125) and Ian Billcliff (90) added 169 as Canada posted 284. Namibia though got within two runs before Kevin Sandher’s fifth wicket saw the North Americans seal a crucial win. Namibia appealed the result citing two runs missed by the scorers, asking for the video evidence to be viewed, but their appeal was dismissed – with the crucial over said to be missing as the analyst was changing batteries at the time…Paul Hoffmann took six wickets and hit 39 as Scotland blew away Oman, while it was a similar story as five wickets for Edgar Schiferli and four from Ryan ten Doeschate saw PNG skittled for 69 as The Netherlands won by 9 wickets.

The second day saw Ireland beat Uganda by 127 runs at Comber, with only Frank Nsubuga – who hit 6 sixes and 3 fours in his 59 – offering any resistance as Uganda were dismissed for 104 chasing 232. Freddie Klokker’s brilliant 138 set up Denmark’s 96 run win over USA, while Bermuda caused a shock by beating UAE by 30 runs.

Scotland v Canada: Cedric English is caught by Ian BilcliffCedric English is caught by Ian Bilcliff (©CricketEurope)

Scotland made it two wins from two as they overcame the shock of losing two wickets from the first two balls of their pursuit of 190 against Canada – Fraser Watts and Colin Smith making 80s. The Dutch won again as they mauled Oman by 258 runs – a century by Bas Zuiderent and four wickets from Ryan ten Doeschate the highlights. Namibia got their first points with a 96-run win against PNG, with Kola Burger making 58.

The third round of matches saw Ed Joyce come to Ireland’s rescue as his 115 together with 67 from Trent Johnston helped them eke out a penultimate ball two-wicket won over a UAE side who pushed them all the way in a tense, nervy battle at Stormont. A solid batting effort by Bermuda saw them beat Denmark, while Uganda stunned USA as they chased 237 to win by six wickets – Steve Massiah’s hundred in vain.

Ed Joyce of Ireland during his century against UAEEd Joyce of Ireland during his century against UAE (©CricPics)

Scotland’s seamers were again to the fore as they dismissed PNG for just 90 – John Blain and Dougie Brown taking four scalps and Hoffmann two. They didn’t have it all their own way as they chased a modest target, but still won by five wickets. John Davison hit 74 as Canada edged out Oman by two wickets, while half centuries from Bas Zuiderent and Tom De Grooth helped The Netherlands ease to six wicket won over Namibia.

The fourth round of games saw no results possible in Group A, with the teams each taking a point, but Group B did get their games played as those matches were held in the NW area which for once had the best of the weather. Ryan Watson’s 87 and a combined seven wickets between Craig Wright and Dougie Brown saw Scotland all but assured of a World Cup place as they beat Namibia by 27 runs in a 33-over match. Game of the day was at Eglinton where Canada took a giant step towards qualification as Desmond Chumney’s 64 saw them beat The Netherlands by two wickets with a ball to spare despite Billy Stelling’s five wicket haul. In the battle to avoid the wooden spoon Oman’s batting woes continued as PNG skittled them for just 41.

And so to the final round of group games and as expected Ireland topped the group after a solid display against Denmark at Bangor. Half centuries from Ed and Dom Joyce laying the platform for a 73-run win. Bermuda joined them with an emphatic win over a disappointing USA – Janiero Tucker hitting nine sixes in a brutal 132 while Dwayne Leverock took four wickets with his left-arm spin. Naeemuddin Aslam 76 ensured UAE clinched third place as they beat Uganda by 63 runs at Lurgan.

Scotland topped Group B with their fifth straight win, this time by a comprehensive 98-runs over The Netherlands – Ryan Watson taking four scalps as the Dutch made just 123. Canada joined them in the semi-finals as they crushed PNG by 160 runs – Ian Billcliff scoring a century, with 50s from the old firm of Davison and Chumney. Namibia won the final group game beating Oman by six wickets in a low-key affair.

Netherlands v Namibia: Edgar Schiferli bowling to Andries BurgerNetherlands v Namibia: Edgar Schiferli bowling to Andries Burger (©CricketEurope)

The action switched to Dublin and on a Super Saturday the 12 teams were in action with most of the attention focused on Ireland’s attempt to reach their first ICC Trophy final. With five players scoring 30s Canada set a challenging total of 238 for 6, and when the Irish – who were missing Ed Joyce – slipped to 106 for 5, it seemed a tough ask. However they clinched a last over win thanks to a Man of the Match 64 not out from Peter Gillespie, well supported by Trent Johnston and Andy White. Scotland joined them in the final as half centuries from Cedric English and Gavin Hamilton ensured a six wicket win over Bermuda chasing 220.

John Davison of Canada is out lbw to Ireland's Trent JohnstonJohn Davison of Canada is out lbw to Ireland's Trent Johnston (©CricketEurope)

The Netherlands and UAE won through to the 5th/6th place play-off as they beat Denmark and Namibia. Daan van Bunge and Bas Zuiderent both scored hundreds, adding 242 for the second wicket as they piled on a total of 314 at North County – that proved 89 too many for Denmark. In the other game at Malahide Khurram Khan’s 92 and Syed Maqsood 84 helped UAE chase 240 to beat Namibia.The 9th to 12th placings matches semis saw Oman edge out Uganda by six runs while USA had little trouble beating PNG by eight wickets.

Monday July 11th saw The Netherlands clinch the fifth and final World Cup place on offer as they overpowered the UAE. Another century for Bas Zuiderent and 65 apiece from Tim De Leede and Ryan ten Doeschate saw them post 287 for 4. UAE never threatened it, 142 all out.

The other games mattered little in the grand scheme of things, but for the record Canada beat Bermuda by five wickets to secure third place, Sarel Burger’s five wickets clinched 7th place for Namibia over Denmark. Oman’s Farhan Khan hit 9 sixes in an unbeaten 94 as Oman stunned the USA chasing 345 at North County. There was another thriller at Rathmines with Kenneth Kamyuka’s 126 not enough for Uganda who lost to PNG by an agonizing one run in the wooden spoon battle.

JM Hansen of Denmark is lbw against NamibiaJM Hansen of Denmark is lbw against Namibia (©CricketEurope)

The final at Castle Avenue was a high scoring affair with Scotland deservedly running out 47 run winners. Ryan Watson punished anything errant in a hard-hit 94, while contrasting half centuries from Fraser Watts and Dougie Brown propelled them to 324 for 7. The Irish chase looked well set at 148 for 2 with Ed Joyce and Jeremy Bray well set, but as the required rate crept up, scoreboard pressure told. Scotland in truth had been the form side of the tournament and were worthy champions.

Speaking to CricketEurope after sealing the win, Scottish captain Craig Wright said: ““ICC Trophy Champions, sounds good! It’s what we came to do, we came to win the Tournament. Obviously qualifying for the World Cup was our first priority but our objective was to win. On the back of our Intercontinental Cup victory last year we wanted to keep on going, keep winning these Tournaments and send out the right messages about where Scotland are as a cricket team and we’ve done.”

“Fair play to the Irish they kept coming at us, obviously they have some dangerous players, but we stuck at it, we didn’t panic and I think showed a good degree of experience there. We held a couple of catches and managed to get through.”

Man of the Match Ryan Watson reflected on the win too; “It’s absolutely superb, the culmination of a couple of years of hard work and the rewards are absolutely awesome, playing in the West Indies and winning the Tournament, we’re ‘over the moon’.

Scotland's Ryan Watson during his superb 94 in the FinalScotland's Ryan Watson during his superb 94 in the Final (©CricketEurope)

“We felt confident of defending 325, we thought it might do a little early doors. Obviously we were a bit surprised at the start we got off to and then we managed to capitalise on that. It’s a quick scoring ground and a quick outfield but with 325 we were pretty confident that we could defend that. We were a little bit worried when Joyce and Bray were batting so well but the thing is when you’re chasing at seven and eight an over you’ve got to take risks and we were hoping that one would eventually stick, which is what happened.”

Bas Zuiderent was named Player of the Tournament as he finished top run scorer ahead of Ed Joyce. It was generally a high scoring tournament with 12 centuries scored and 20 partnerships of 100 or more. Paul Hoffmann and Edgar Schiferli finished joint leading wicket takers with 17 apiece, two ahead of Ryan ten Doeschate and Thomas Hansen.

Although they didn’t know it at the time losing the final turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the Irish as second place put them in a World Cup group with Zimbabwe and Pakistan. A tie was followed by a St Patrick’s Day win over Pakistan and set them on an upwards trajectory which ultimately ended in Full Membership. For Scotland it was a miserable tournament in the West Indies, losing all three matches and it started a decline which took almost ten years to recover from.

A happy Scotland team returning to their hotel after defeating Ireland in the FinalA happy Scotland team returning to their hotel after defeating Ireland in the Final