Ireland qualify for Under 19 World Cup finals

Thu, Jul 26, 2007 2:33 PM

Ireland qualified for the Under 19 World Cup Finals in Malaysia in February 2008 with a tense 6 wicket win against Scotland at Osborne Park. Rain delayed the start until 3pm, reducing the game to initially 35 overs. Further showers reduced this to 34, and Ireland's reply was also hit by the elements, reducing the target from 158 for victory to 150 in 32 overs.

Player of the tournament Calum Mac Leod had starred for Scotland with the bat in their total of 157 all out. The Warwickshire all rounder struck 8 fours and 2 sixes in a fine knock of 58 from 67 balls. He shared in a stand of 62 with Scott Mac Lennan (36), after Scotland were faltering at 47 for 4.

Three of the Irish attack took 3 wickets each - Richard Keaveney (3-16), Graeme Mc Donnell (3-35), and Skipper Greg Thompson (3-38). It wasn't a really convincing bowling display if truth be told - once again they conceded an unacceptable number of extras - they bowled 23 wides in those 34 overs. On another day that could have been the difference between qualifying and runners up.

A fiery opening spell by Mac Leod soon had the Irish in great difficulty - he trapped Paul Stirling lbw, and then uprroted the leg stump of James Hall to reduce the Irish to 8 for 2 in 7 overs. Scott Redhead proved a good foil as he regularly beat the bat but couldn't find the elusive edge. Slowly but steadily they played their way back into the game with Ben Ackland looking positive and Chris Dougherty providing solid support.

The pair added 99 for the 3rd wicket, before Dougherty was bolwed by Zeeshan Bashir of 37. Graeme Mc Donnell struck a four and a six off censectuive deliveries to leave the irish on the brink of victory, beofre being run out after a mix up.

Ackland finished on 71 not out, hitting 8 boundaries off just 70 balls, as Ireland won by 6 wickets with 13 balls to spare amidst great celebrations.

In the other game, The Netherlands had a crushing 9 wicket win over Denmark. This game too was rain affected, but in the end the reductions had little influence over the result of the game. A poor batting display saw the Danes dismissed for a paltry 46 in exactly 20 overs. Extras with 16 was the top contribution - Finn Kleissl was the only player to reach double figures, making 13.

The Netherlands bowling attack all were among the wickets, with skipper Graeme Davye taking 3 for 15, and Ollie De Geus 3 for 6 (all six runs conceded were wides). Ollie Lodder, Alexei Kervezee and Hidde Maarveld all took a wicket apiece.

Despite the loss of Steven De Bruin for just 4, Netherlands raced to a 9 wicket win in just 26 balls. Alexei Kervezee made an unbeaten 22, as Netherlands finished with a consolation win to leave Denmark propping up the table.

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