Cricket Scotland @CricketScotland
July 29, 2023 10 months
ICC World Cup Qualifier Europe - Scotland v Ireland 230728 An 8 run win over Ireland and Scotland are the tournament champions in the final match of the ICC World Cup Qualifier Europe at the Grange, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK Credit: Cricket Scotland/Ian Jacobs

Scotland finished the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier in style on Friday evening by defeating Ireland to win the competition.

Going into the game both sides were already assured of places at next year’s showpiece event, but there was still plenty to play for in terms of who would come out on top in what has been an entertaining 10 days im Edinburgh.

And the players served up a treat for in front of a sold out crowd at Grange CC, Scotland posting 213-6, with Ireland falling just short on 205-9 despite a stunning innings from Mark Adair.

The eight-run win for Scotland featured half centuries from Brandon McMullen and skipper Richie Berrington while Brad Currie later took 5-13.

They are the best figures ever by a Scotland men’s bowler in this format, jumping ahead of Ali Evans’ 5-24 versus Netherlands in 2015. Currie also took two catches.

After the game, Player of the Match Currie said:  “I didn’t even dream about that [taking so many wickets] last night, but it was superb. I tried to keep it quite simple with lots of slower balls.

“I have loved being part of the group over the last couple of weeks and to play a batch of games on home turf and win the tournament, well it is a great feeling.”

And Berrington said:  “I am really proud of the way the team stuck to their task in this game and the way they have stuck to their task all tournament long.

“It has been a long couple of months for all of us, but winning silverware in front of a home crowd makes it worthwhile, this is special.”

Ireland won the toss and decided to bowl first, the Scotland XI featuring one change as Matthew Cross replaced Tom Mackintosh.

After three runs came from the first over, the first four of the day came off the first ball of the second over courtesy of George Munsey off Joshua Little.

Indeed, Munsey took 14 runs off the over to help progress Scotland up to 18-0.

In over three Munsey hit a four off Barry McCarthy, but was then out the next ball he was caught by Harry Tector for a brisk 20 off 13 balls.

That was 24-1 and by the next over Scotland were 26-2 when Hairs was caught by Curtis Campher off Adair for four.

McMullen and Berrington were now at the crease and they put together an excellent 104-run partnership for the third wicket.

McMullen set the tone for the duo’s work with a four and a six off successive balls from McCarthy’s bowling in the fifth over and, in the seventh over, both players hit sixes and Berrington backed it up with two fours off Campher to push the score up to 71-2.

By the end of the ninth over McMullen was on 40 not out from just 18 balls and Berrington was on 34 not out from 19 balls as the team score headed towards the 100 mark.

Berrington hit a massive six off Ben White from the first ball of the 10th over to bring up the team’s three figures before gaining a reprieve the next ball when he was dropped by George Dockrell.

In the next over Berrington brought up his half century, his second in two days, off just 25 balls with a six off Campher and McMullen made it to his half century in the very next over after that.

Berrington’s excellent 54 off 29 balls – including three fours and four sixes – came to an end off the first ball of the 13th over when White had him caught by Adair.

McMullen and Cross then added 33 for the fourth wicket in just two and a half overs before the former was caught by Campher off the bowling of White.

The all-rounder’s 68 had come off 35 balls and had included four fours and five sixes.

In the next 5.2 overs before the end of the innings another 50 runs were added to the total and two wickets lost, Cross finishing on 30 not out and Michael Leask contributing 21.

Scotland finished on 213-6 with McCarthy and White both taking two wickets for Ireland.

In reply, Andrew Balbirnie hit a four off Currie from the first ball of the innings, but he was soon heading back to the pavilion when, two balls later, he was caught behind by wicketkeeper Cross.

Three balls later it got even better for Scotland when Lorcan Tucker was caught by Hairs for a duck.

That left Ireland were 4-2 after one over, but there would be no rebuilding period as Mark Watt’s first over went for 16, captain Paul Stirling scoring 15 of them including two fours and a six.

However, Currie was at it again in over three, this time taking the scalp of Harry Tector who skied a drive to Berrington.

The score then was 20-3 and it became 44-4 in the fifth over when Currie’s dream day continued.

He had the dangerous Stirling caught by Mark Watt for 21 off just 10 balls and Scotland were in control.

Neil Rock hit a four off Safyaan Sharif in the sixth over and Campher a six and a four as the chasing side continued to take an aggressive approach. Fifteen off over seven from Gavin Main then took the score onto 75-4.

In the eighth over the 32-run partnership was ended when Campher was caught by Currie off the bowling of Leask for 28 off 14 balls.

Two overs later Leask would strike again, removing Rock for 20 thanks to a catch from Munsey.

That was Ireland 89-6 and at the halfway stage of their innings they had reached 98, still needing 116 to win from 10 overs.

Wicket number seven fell with Chris Greaves’ first ball of the match, Dockrell pulling a short delivery straight to Leask on the deep square leg boundary, reducing Irelanf to 109-7.

Adair and McCarthy were now at the crease and three sixes by the former off Leask in the 14th over got Ireland up to 149-7 and put them still in with a chance.

Their 150 came up in the 15th over, and with five overs remaining they needed 58 runs to triumph.

An eventful 16th over saw Adair get to his 50, and McCarthy strike a four and a six before falling to Main.

It was Currie who took the catch – he just could not be kept out of the game – and McCarthy’s departure for 17 had left his side on 167-8.

Only eight runs came off the 17th over from Sharif, but 18 came from the 18th over bowled by Main – including a four and two sixes from Adair – leaving just 20 required from the final 12 deliveries.

Scotland needed a wicket – and they turned to Currie who obliged.

In the 19th over he took the vital wicket of Adair, caught by Main for an excellent 72 off just 36 balls, to secure his maiden international five wicket haul.

An outstanding over that went for just a single and a leg bye, as well as the all-important wicket, mean that Ireland were left needing 18 off the final over.

Sharif completed the job, keeping it tight to restrict Ireland to 205-9 as Scotland won by eight runs.

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