Another sunny day, another Irish victory in this three match series against Scotland.For the second time in this series the start of play was delayed by dew on the outfield but for the second time it didn't stop Ireland winning the toss, choosing to field, and wrapping up this game early. This time with 5.4 overs to spare with three wickets in hand.
It should not have been as close as it was as Ireland were cruising toward Scotland's sub par score of 221 before some lapses in concentration saw them lose wickets at unnecessary points. Both openers, Balbirnie and Anderson, getting in and making starts before both losing their wickets caught behind off the bowling of Davey.Andrew Poynter was dropped on 8 as Wardlaw was slow to react to a skied hit at fine leg and couldn't buy a boundary for most of his 21 runs off 50 ball innings. He didn't need to while Kevin O’Brien was at the wicket with him. Their partnership of 68 was the best of the Irish innings with O’Brien looking unstoppable and in good touch. He carried over his form from the previous match to rack up another imperious half century and looked certain to steer Ireland home over the line again.
He brought up his 50 off 52 balls with a 4 off Ali Evans, bowling his best in a Scotland Shirt, and 50 partnership with Poynter of 60 balls.
It was only a great catch by wicketkeeper Matthew Cross of the bowling of Ali Evans, that managed to dislodge him for 67 off 65 balls but by then he had guided his nation to safety at 157/4 in the 31st over.Ireland stuttered after the captains dismissal losing regular wickets as the Scots desperately squeezed what pressure they could out of the game but even losing three wickets for 29 runs couldn't shake Ireland off the scent of victory and they pass Scotland's total with 3 wickets in hand with 34 balls to spare.
Earlier in the day Max Sorensen and Craig Young played their own game of 'Wickets Tag' as they ran through the top order of the Scottish batting. Sorensen opened the bowling and looked fierce from the start showing the upstart, Craig Young, how it’s done. He had Matty Cross trapped L.B.W. for 4 with the third ball of the first over with one that stayed low. Young opened from the other end and Bowled MacLeod for 4 with his third delivery that was fast and full. The very next over Sorensen moved ahead as he bowled the Scottish Captain, Mommsen, off an inside edge for 3.
After three overs Scotland are 11/3 and reeling. Berrington was the next in and with Gardner set about righting the ship and stopping the flow of wickets. By the end of the 10 over powerplay they have dragged Scotland to 39/3 and showing signs of being able to push the score on.
Sorensen and Young continued to keep the bowling tight and its Sorensen who gets the next breakthrough claiming Gardner in the 11th over for 13 chasing a wide one and nicking to the keeper.Berrington is the only Scottish batsman to survive the Max and Craig tag team rampage and his 101 not out of 126 balls contains eight 4's and one 6 and is the only thing between being bundled out for another embarrassing score and setting the semi decent total of 221 that gave Scotland some hope of defending.
It was not enough though and Ireland take another well played for and well deserved victory. Ireland also the series with one game still to play on Friday.p.s. in the end it was Max Sorensen who won the tag team challenge with his figures of 10 overs 4 wickets for 40 runs (his best in O.D.I for Ireland against Craig Young's effort of 10 overs 3 wickets for 39.