Scotland seal series win over Ireland

21 Jun

Ireland 166/6 (20 overs) Poynter 36, Sharif 2/26, Main 1/21 lost to Scotland 167/4 (18.1 overs) Cross 48, Mommsen 47* by 6 wickets. [Scorecard] 

Scotland sealed a series victory in style at Bready, beating Ireland by six wickets for the second time in three days.

Preston Mommsen once again won the toss and inserted Ireland as Scotland sought to build on their first ever T20I win on Thursday.

Seamer Alasdair Evans was rested to give Gavin Main an opportunity to open the bowling along with Safyaan Sharif, one which he took with both hands.

Both Sharif and Evans struck early, the former tempting Stuart Poynter to nick one to Matt Cross, the latter proving too quick for John Anderson, who pulled a short ball straight to George Munsey and midwicket.

Josh Davey also provided excellent control in the powerplay, despite being punished for offering Andrew Poynter one wide delivery which he slashed over point for the innings’ first six.

It was a shot which set the tone of Poynter’s stay at the crease, as he made 36 off 24 balls, before finally aiming one heave too many and top-eding Michael Leask to Sharif at short third man.

The dismissal brought Kevin O’Brien to the middle, the burly captain who, having made 30 off 19 two days previous, announced himself with a crunching cover drive for four off his first ball.

Along with Andrew Balbirnie, he set about delivering Ireland, treating seam and spin with equal disdain.

However, the acceleration also prompted some over-zealous running between the wickets, and when Sharif let go of the ball from long off, Balbirnie was left woefully short of his ground coming back for a second.

O’Brien eventually holed out with 15 balls left, knocking the excellent Sharif straight down Leask’s throat, but George Dockrell and the enterprising Tyrone Kane added 24 off the last 2.3 overs to set Scotland 167 to win.

The reply started in the worst possible fashion, with Kane beating Munsey for pace with the second (legal) delivery of the innings, but that only brought out Thursday’s hero, Matt Cross, who promptly laced his second ball to the cover boundary with consummate ease.

He and remaining opener Kyle Coetzer proceeded to exploit the powerplay and put on 73 in just 46 deliveries, before Dockrell removed Coetzer for 34 in his first over.

Cross perished in Dockrell’s second over, and when Leask became the spinner’s third victim, it appeared as though Scotland might start to wobble, especially when Mommsen nearly ran Berrington out the very next delivery.

However, it was the only quiver of the captain’s innings, as he proceeded to score apparently at will, punishing anything too short or too full, and manipulating the field masterfully.

Aided by the speedy Berrington, whose running between the wickets alone must have been worth ten runs, he saw Scotland home with 11 balls to spare, carting Kane over his head for four with the final blow of the game.

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