Scotland lost their second T20I of the GS Holding T20I Tri-Series by four wickets thanks to an Andy Balbirnie-inspired Ireland at Malahide.
Winning the toss and opting to bat first in a sunbathed Dublin, Scotland struck 193 runs in 20 overs as Calum MacLeod (72 off 42) and George Munsey (34 off 20) got the team off to a flying start at the top of the order.
Middle-order fire from Richie Berrington (20) and Oli Hairs (26) continued the intent during the closing stages of the game, but regular wickets from the Irish attack (Boyd Rankin 3/29, Gareth Delany 2/31) restricted Scotland on a pitch that saw 446 runs scored 24 hours earlier, just as the Scots looked to again cruise over the 200 mark.
A 57-run stand for the first wicket between Kevin O’Brien (17) and Gareth Delany (52) ensured hosts Ireland made the most of the power-play with 85/1 on the board, and with a 67-run stand for the third wicket between Andy Balbirnie (64) and Harry Tector (21) all but putting a comfortable win for Ireland on the table with the score 166/3 in the fourteenth, Scotland had no answer to the incredible array of hitting from Ireland’s top order.
A late flurry of wickets from Mark Watt with 3/38 and 1/21 from experienced campaigner Richie Berrington reined the Irish back slightly, but the power-play damage had been done and the foundations laid for Ireland to record their first victory of the T20I series, reaching 194 with 14 balls and four wickets remaining.
The defeat puts Scotland second in the GS Holding T20I Tri-Series table, with Ireland top with one win and one no-result under their belt. Netherlands sit in third place.
Scotland return to action on Thursday 19th September against Netherlands at Malahide. The game will be live-streamed and starts at 13:30 with free entry in Dublin.