Ireland clinch series against determined Scotland
Thu, Sep 11, 2014 8:05 AM
Ireland took a 2-0 lead in their three-match series against Scotland at Malahide on Wednesday but coach Phil Simmons will probably feel that they made heavy weather of things before sealing a three-wicket verdict. Kevin O’Brien won the toss for the home team after a delayed start and had no hesitation in asking the Scots to take first use and it wasn’t long before his decision was paying off.
Max Sorensen and Craig Young shared the new ball to devastating effect, and before they had a chance to catch their breath the Saltires had been reduced to 48 for 5 after little more than 11 overs.
Richie Berrington was proving much more stubborn however and slowly but surely he began to ease the visitors back into the contest.
Berrington shared in a very valuable 84-run stand for the 6th wicket with Josh Davey before the partnership was finally ended by Young.
Michael Leask hung around a while for his 10 before being removed at the start of Kevin O’Brien’s second spell however Alisdair Evans (22) worked hard to keep his batting partner in full flow.
Fittingly Berrington moved to his century in the final over- 8 fours and a six in his 101 before being run out from the penultimate ball of the innings.
His efforts allowed Scotland to close on 221 all out with Sorensen (4-40) and Young (3-39) the pick of the attack and Mooney and O’Brien Chipping in with one wicket apiece.
Ireland’s reply was hardly convincing to begin with either as Andrew Balbirnie (16) and John Anderson (12) were both undone by Davey after both had managed to get some sort of start.
Kevin O’Brien and Andrew Poynter were soon on top of things however and the experienced duo added 68 before Poynter fell to that man Berrington for 21.
Stuart Thompson joined O’Brien at that point and the latter was soon cruising to an even-time half century as Ireland assumed control of the contest. The skipper looked nailed on to take his side home before going for one big drive too many and being caught behind off Evans for 67 (9 fours) and things began to get a little less comfortable.
Stuart Poynter’s needless run-out breathed a little life into the Scottish cause and the hosts were really starting to labour when Stuart Thompson’s solid 39 ended with him trapped leg before by Leask.
Andrew White was next to go, also lbw, this time to Evans, bringing John Mooney and Max Sorensen together with 37 still needed. Thankfully for the hosts this pair were up to the task- Mooney with an unbeaten 27 and Sorensen 14 as Ireland finally edged it.
Evans (2-34) and Davey (2-44) fared best of the visitors' attack but the Scots now go into Friday's final game with just pride to play for.
SCOTLAND 221 all out (49.5 overs, R Berrington, J Davey 40, A Evans 22, M Sorensen 4-40, C Young 3-39)
IRELAND 225/7 (44.2 Overs, K O'Brien 67, S Thompson 29, J Mooney 27*, A Poynter 21, A Evans 2-34, J Davey 2-44)
Ireland won by three wickets