Ireland's hopes of qualification intact with win over Scotland

Andrew Balbirnie

Ireland's final match in the Super Sixes is against Afghanistan on Friday.

Niall O'Brien made a run-a-ball 70 in a third-wicket stand of 138, proving the ideal foil to the more circumspect innings of Balbirnie.

Graham Ford's side lost star man Paul Stirling when he was caught and bowled by Brad Wheal in the very first over.

Scotland now need to win over Windies, the two-time world champions, which will all but assure them of a World Cup place.

Richie Berrington scored 44 for Scotland in their run chase but when he fell to the bowling of Tim Murtagh in the 41st over the writing was on the wall for the Scots as Ireland won with 3.2 overs to spare, Rankin the pick of the Irish bowlers with 4 for 63 off 9.4 overs.

O'Brien reached his 33rd half century in all formats with a superb run-a-ball 70 (9 fours), before being run out by Craig Wallace's direct hit after a stop-start call for a single.

The Irish innings thereafter ended with a whimper rather than a bang - six wickets falling for just 30 runs in the last five overs, including Kevin O'Brien for 46 from just 27 balls. Ireland are now on two points while Scotland have five points. "I just managed to kick on and it was great to get a total on the board for the team". That was one of the best wickets in the tournament so far. The Scotland captain has had a consistent tournament with the bat, registering scores of 2, 41*, 88*, 39 and 43 before today, and once again he got the innings off to a quick start.

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Scotland's most capped worldwide Richie Berrington (44) added 58 in an enterprising stand with Sharif (34) as Scotland rallied, but when Murtagh bowled Berrington, followed by a double strike from Barry McCarthy, the contest looked all over at 208 for 9.

Spinner Simi Singh showed why he should have been included in the team to face Zimbabwe taking two for 33 off his 10 overs.

Ireland captain William Porterfield was thrilled to see his side get back to winnings ways but admitted that it didn't take much to motivate the side after their poor batting performance in the defeat to Zimbabwe.

"In the last 10 [overs] we would have liked a bit more, but after the batting performance on Saturday we wanted to put in a solid performance on a pitch that was playing a bit slow", he said. "We were disappointing with the bat against Zimbabwe, so this turnaround was pleasing".

"We know them pretty well, there's going to be a lot of results this week, and who knows what is going to be played for on Friday".

Showing confidence ahead of the next game against the Windies, Coetzer said: "We believe we can win that game and we have to, we have to just make sure we turn up the game and play a good game and put the Windies under pressure". "I haven't had a great run, but this time I had a bit of a rub of the green".


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