Half-centuries by Andrew Balbirnie and Gareth Delany helped Ireland chase down the 194-run target against Scotland with ease, on Tuesday (September 17), in Dublin.
Chasing the mammoth target, Kevin O’Brien and Delany provided a strong start, courtesy a half-century stand in only 4.1 overs. O’Brien had started the assault with a six and a four. However, it was Delany, who hogged the majority of the strike in the partnership, who pushed the gear further with a 16-run over against Mark Watt in the third.
Even once O’Brien fell in the fifth over, Balbarnie and Delany ensured the innings didn’t go off track. The former began his innings with a boundary and before the fifth over of the chase could get over, he even pulled Evans for a six. The duo continued the assault before Watt bagged his first of three wickets of the day by dismissing Delany off the last ball of the eighth over, on 52.
Balbarnie, again, didn’t let the scoring rate drop. He hit Michael Leask for 16 in the ninth over and kept quickly chipping away at the required rate, and soon, off his 26th ball, brought up his half-century with a boundary through the deep square leg region.
He eventually fell for 65 in the 14th over, but by then Ireland were cruising in the chase. Watt chipped in with a couple of more wickets, but the hosts surpassed the total in the 18th over, with four wickets in hand.
Earlier in the day, Scotland won the toss and elected to bat. The openers got off to a quick start, but fell in the powerplay itself. By the 40th ball of their innings, they were reduced to 58 for 3. However, Calum McLeod gave their innings a much-needed stability and impetus. He forged two useful partnerships with Richie Berrington and Ollie Hairs, yielding 42 and 63 runs respectively in the alliances.
However, Boyd Rankin, who had disturbed the timber of Leask and Kyle Coetzer earlier in the innings, dismissed Hairs to ensure there was a lid on Scotland’s big hitting in the death overs. Even as McLeod slammed two sixes and eight boundaries in his 42-ball 72, he could aid in only adding 30 runs in the last three overs to the team’s total.
Brief scores: Scotland 193/7 in 20 overs (Calum MacLeod 72, George Munsey 34; Boyd Rankin 3-29, Gareth Delany 2-31) lost to Ireland 194/6 in 17.4 overs (Andrew Balbirnie 64, Gareth Delany 52; Mark Watt 3-38) by 4 wickets.