Scotland end Irish domination

Mon, Aug 13, 2007 6:07 PM

Scotland clinched the Under 17 European Championships in a thrilling encounter with Ireland. After rain wiped out the entire first days proceedings, a 60 over per side contest was played, with points being awarded for wickets taken and runs scored. Scotland went into the game with a two point lead, and in the final analysis, that was to prove crucial.

Batting first, Ireland were given a bright start by Paul Stirling, who hit 30 from just 38 balls, but were soon in trouble at 52 for 3 as Scotland fought back strongly.

A fourth wicket stand of 103 between James Shannon and Andrew Balbirnie put the Irish in a commanding position at 155 for 3, and at that juncture maximum batting points for reaching 250 looked on the cards. A dramatic collapse however saw the Scots claim all four bowling points as they dismissed Ireland for just 233 in 59.1 overs - that increased their overall lead to 3 points.

Shannon hit boundaries in his 87 from 132 deliveries, while Balbirnie hit 5 fours in his 84 ball score of 47.

The bowling heroes for Scotland were William Rowan (3-41) and Matthew Parker (3-50).

In reply Scotland knew that they held the upper hand, and opted for a safety first approach, knowing that as long as they weren't bowled out, the victory would almost certainly be their's.

Marc Petrie with 35 from 77 balls, and Matthew Parker 25 from 71 set the tone, content to play sensible cricket, before Parker ran himself out and panic set in.

The Irish were desperate for wickets, and set attacking fields in an attempt to force the win. Robert Smith took 2 for 3 in 7 overs, and Eddie Richardson 2 for 21 off 10.

With the last over starting, Scotland led by a point, but a 9th wicket for Ireland would secure an invaluable point. Craig Morrison and Michael Leask held on and finished on 125 for 8 - clinching the championship by a single point.

Morrison with 19 not from 62 balls, and Leask, 2 not out from 38 deliveries, had survived for a nerve jangling 13 overs, and were greeted as heroes by their ecstatic team mates.

Thus Ireland’s chance of a second clean sweep of all the trophies for a second successive year had gone by the slenderest of margins.

In the other match at Forfar the Netherlands got the better of the draw against Denmark thanks to a bizarre declaration. Continuing from yesterday the Dyucj with Tin Gruijters again outstanding with the bat hitting 65 set a target of 190 for the Danes to take the points for a first innings lead.

They got off to the worst of starts losing three of their top order for only 1o runs but Rashid, Shehzad Ahmed and Blumenau batting sensibly got them over the 100 mark. With the score on 152 for 8 the Danes were ahead on bonus points and elected to declare their inning closed to save them losing a further wicket in the last two overs.

In doing so they forgot that the Netherlands would get the 10 points up for grabs for a first innings lead and therefore they ended up with 5 points as against the Dutch with 14 and took bottom spot in the table.

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