Ireland retain trophy

Thu, Jul 5, 2007 4:12 PM

In a rather one sided match Ireland retained the Under 23 championship after defeating hosts Scotland in the only match to be played in the championship.

The hosts won the toss and elected to field in what looked like favourable conditions. They made an immediate breakthrough when danger man William Porterfield was trapped in front by Sean Weeraratna with only three runs on the board. Hall and Stirling then started to take control thanks to some poor fielding by the home side that saw a couple of chances go a begging. However the introduction of Calum MacLeod to the attack broke the partnership when with his first legal delivery he had Hall caught by Hussain at first slip.

This brought Kevin O'Brien, one of the Irish World Cup heroes to the crease and together with Paul Stirling built a solid partnership just one short of a century before Umair Mohammed got the wicket of O'Brien.

Seventeen year old Stirling a late replacement for Gary Wilson who was refused permission by Surrey to play made the most of his good fortune going on to score a well deserved hitting one six through the pavilion window.

Once he was the fourth wicket out, wicket fell at regular intervals and Ireland finished on 220 for 8.

Scotland's reply got off to a distrust reply loosing Goudie, Farid and captain Qasim Sheikh with only 30 runs on the board.

It was a position from which they never recovered and Ireland unlike Scotland took nearly all their chances and the Scots were all out for 104 with in the twenty ninth over.

The defending champions deserved their victory as they totally outplayed Scotland in all departments of the game, and will now be looking to their junior side to follow their example in the weeks ahead.

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