Allround Ireland performance secures comprehensive win
Friday turned out to be dismaying for Scotland after conceding a one-wicket win to Ireland, Sunday only resulted in more disappointment after a seven-wicket rout by the same opponents in Match 52 of the World Cricket League Championship at Stormont, Belfast on September 8. Set a target of just 166, Ireland galloped home with 17 overs to spare.
After losing both its openers quickly, Ireland ensured it did not make a mess out of the chase, as Niall O’Brien put together two separate partnerships - 69 runs with Ed Joyce for the fourth wicket and an unbroken fifth wicket partnership of 75 with Gary Wilson - to take his team home. Brien remained unbeaten on 65 and was the only person to score a half-century from either sides. Wilson was unbeaten on 35, while Joyce lent a useful hand of 39. Ian Wardlaw accounted for both the openers, but proved expensive in the end, finishing with 2 for 60 in his ten overs. Majid Haq continued his impressive form with the ball, finishing with an economy rate of 3.90 off his ten overs, and the wicket of Ed Joyce.
Scotland elected to bat for the second consecutive time and had a disappointing show with the bat. Calum MacLeod was his team's top-scorer with 39, but consumed 81 deliveries in the process. Wickets at regular intervals stalled Scotland's progress, with the only partnership of note coming for the fifth wicket between MacLeod and Richie Berrington (35) who put on 66 runs. In a collective effort by the Ireland bowlers, Max Sorensen and Kevin O’Brien took three wickets apiece, while Stuart Thompson and Eddie Richardson took two each.
Sunday’s defeat does not do any good for Scotland, which by virtue of its loss on Friday, has already found itself out of the reckoning for an automatic qualification for the 2015 World Cup, with the trouncing at the hands of Ireland serving to only further dent its confidence.