Ireland’s flirtation with cricketing history came to a disappointing end in Kingston’s Sabina Park on Friday when it lost its second Twenty20 International with the West Indies.

Victory, following a famous six-wicket win on the same ground earlier in the week, would have given the Irish a first series win over a Test-playing nation.

But the West Indians drew on all their experience to win by 11 runs, hitting 96 for nine off their 20 overs after Ireland had won the toss and put them in, and then restricting the Irish to 85 for eight.

Gary Wilson led Ireland’s run chase with a brave 35 off 39 balls after it had slumped to 25 for four and he moved it on to 72 for seven before being caught and bowled by Dwayne Bravo. So, having gone so close, the Irish, coached by former West Indies batsman Phil Simmons, had to settle for a draw in the two-match series.

It was at the Kingston venue that Ireland dramatically defeated Pakistan in a Saint Patrick’s Day 50-over World Cup match back in 2007.

West Indies and Ireland meet again in a one-off One-Day International at the same ground on Sunday, the last match of the Irish tour.

The scores: West Indies 96 for nine in 20 overs (Cusack four for 11) bt Ireland 85 for eight in 20 overs (Wilson 35, Sammy three for 22). — AFP

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