Ireland A squeeze past Scotland A in Ayr
Ireland 'A' 400/4 dec S Terry 251*and 271/6 dec McCollum 79, McBrine 72, Shannon 63, Aslam 3-57, beat Scotland 'A' 287 (Bruce 70, McBrine 5-71) 351 all out (73.4 overs, S Sharif 133*, C Wallace 88, M Sorensen 4-66, G McCarter 2-29. [Scorecard]
Ireland’s ‘A’ squad arrived at New Cambusdoon, Ayr on Monday with the sun shining and not many clouds to be seen as they won the toss and elected to bat first on the first of their three-day fixture against Scotland ‘A’.
The Irish batsmen took advantage of a good pitch and quick outfield, despite the early loss of Jack Tector who was undone by a short delivery by Chris Sole to give Michael English the catch at backward-point.
McCollum supported Sean Terry as the pair took the score to 82 before the former was trapped in front.
Terry then stole the show with a fantastic innings which saw him cruise past 100. The innings just kept going as the bowlers were made to work hard in the sun.
Terry, who was ably supported by captain Andy McBrine (67*), would surpass the 200 mark effortlessly to finish the day on an impressive 251.
The following morning saw Ireland immediately declare their innings on 400/4. Chris Sole bowled with good pace and was pick of the Scotland A bowlers with 3/35 from his 10 overs.
In reply, an innings of 70 from Tom Bruce, along with handy contributions from Safyaan Sharif (55), Mark Watt (45) and Ali Evans as the home side posted 287.
Ireland then batted with aggression on the morning of the final day – scoring 139 runs in 13 overs - with James McCollum again in the runs.
McBrine and Shannon also played aggressively as it seemed the plan was to bat for the first hour before declaring to set up a Scottish chase.
The final afternoon was a fine advert for multi-day cricket as the match ebbed and flowed, and even going into the final 15 overs of the game with all three outcomes still possible.
Saffyan Sharif and Craig Wallace (88) made the most of the good batting conditions but the visitors continued to take a steady stream of wickets.
Sharif (133*) was to take the home side to within 33 runs of victory before Malik, the final Scottish batsman, was clean bowled to conclude an entertaining game.
A special thanks to Ayr CC for the superb hospitality facilities over the three days.