Scotland 219 (49.2 overs) Jones 87, Wallace 34, T Sole 20, lost to Ireland 223/4 (34.5 overs) Balbirnie 67, N O’Brien 55, Joyce 31* by 6 wickets [Scorecard]
Scotland suffered a 6-wicket defeat to old rivals Ireland at the ICC Academy in Dubai in the Scots first game of the series.
Buoyed from their opening wins over the UAE, Ireland’s William Porterfield won the toss and elected to bowl first. It was a special day for two members of the Scottish contingent, as first caps were awarded to Tom Sole and Michael Jones.
Jones, who qualifies through his Scottish mother, produced a fine display with the bat as he kept the runs ticking over after the wickets of George Munsey (0), Cross (18) and captain Berrington (5).
MacLeod joined Jones with the score on 63/3 and the pair then added 51 runs before MacLeod was caught by sub Simi Singh off the bowling of George Dockrell for 33.
During the fourth wicket partnership Jones was to bring up his maiden ODI fifty from 97 deliveries in the 31st over. He was unfortunate not to reach his hundred, accumulating 87 before being clean bowled by Boyd Rankin, leaving Scotland on 178/6.
Craig Wallace added 34 while Tom Sole also hit 20, but Scotland were all out in the final over to set Ireland 220 to win.
Safyaan Sharif took the new ball and found immediate success, bowling William Porterfield with the fourth ball of the reply.
Andrew Balbirnie’s 67 then steadied the ship as he and Paul Stirling added 103 runs for the second wicket. Balbirnie was to become Tom Sole’s first international wicket as he had the in-form batsman stumped off a wide by ‘keeper Wallace.
Stirling was Sole’s second wicket as he was caught by Whittingham after scoring 38. With a solid platform set, Niall O’Brien (55), Ed Joyce (31*) and Kevin O’Brien (13*) guided Ireland home with 6 wickets in hand to capture their third win of the Tri-Series.
At the end of the game Head Coach Grant Bradburn said, “We felt we got in some valuable game time today for all the players, including the new faces in our line-up. We didn’t quite have the positive intent we expect with the bat which, ultimately, resulted in us setting a total of 60-70 short of what we would have liked in the conditions.
We found ourselves chasing the game from a sluggish start and we needed to bowl and field exceptionally well to win today.
The bowling attack will all benefit from the game-time and we look forward to three more quality games here to help us find winning formulas before the World Cup Qualifiers.
Michael Jones soaked up the experience of his first ODI for Scotland and will no doubt develop further on the back of posting an excellent score today first up. Tom Sole also made a solid start today to his international career and will only kick in from his experiences so far.”
Andy Balbirnie was awarded Player of the Match for his efforts with the bat. The two teams will now meet again on Thursday at the same venue before Scotland’s final two games against the UAE.