Cricket Scotland @CricketScotland
May 23, 2024 3 weeks
Image: Clipncode/KNCB

Scotland Men rounded-out their preparations for the ICC T20 World Cup with a defeat to Ireland, as half-centuries from Andy Balbirnie and Lorcan Tucker guided their side to a five-wicket win.

Set 158 for victory, Ireland always looked comfortable in reply, despite a late wobble as Chris Sole took two wickets in two balls, with Gareth Delany ultimately guiding them over the line with three balls remaining.

George Munsey looked to pick up from where we left off following his 72 against the Netherlands, and struck the first six of the innings in the third over, whipping Craig Young high over square leg, but his demise would come two balls later.

Attempting the same shot, Munsey could only pick out Curtis Campher on the leg-side boundary, departing for 12.

Oli Hairs (9) would be the next man to fall, drilling Mark Adair over mid-on for six, but the following delivery he could only hit a slower ball from Adair straight up in the air to Harry Tector.

Michael Jones and Richie Berrington added 37 for the third wicket as they advanced the score to 59, Jones twice clearing the rope on the leg-side.

Berrington (13) would then fall to Ben White, caught at cover by Paul Stirling, before Jones (23) was dismissed in the following over, bowled by Gareth Delany.

That brought together Matthew Cross and Michael Leask, the pair adding 55 for the fifth wicket with Leask taking on the role of the aggressor, hoisting Barry McCarthy and Ben White away for six.

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Their partnership was ended on the final delivery of the 15th over, Adair delivering the crucial breakthrough as he bowled Leask for 34.

Cross (35) continued to push on as she stepped across and whipped Craig Young behind square for six, but he would fall the following delivery as he attempted to do the same, but was struck on the pads.

That left Scotland 139-6 in the 18th over, and they failed to regain any momentum in the closing overs, Mark Watt (1) and Chris Sole (6) falling to Adair and Young respectively, as Ireland restricted the Scots to 157-8.

Ireland’s pursuit of that target got off to a flying start, Stirling and Balbirnie finding the boundary with regularity early on, the former bringing up the 50 partnership inside six overs as he flicked Sharif away for six.

The Irish total reached 66 before Chris Greaves, one the day he earned his 50th Scotland cap, made the breakthrough, squeezing one past Stirling to bowl the Ireland skipper for 32.

Image: Clipncode/KNCB

Balbirnie and Tucker continued to dominate the Scotland bowling, Balbirnie reaching his half-century from just 38 deliveries, striking Leask for consecutive boundaries, before nudging a two through the leg-side to reach the landmark.

The re-introduction of Sole would bring about the end of Balbirnie’s innings on 56 as he was caught in the deep, attempting to pull, by Greaves.

Sole threatened to turn the game on its head when he struck in back-to-back deliveries in his following over, Harry Tector (3) caught at mid-on by Leask, before Campher was bowled off his pads first ball.

Tucker would reach his 50 in the penultimate over, and despite being run out by Jasper Davidson with the scores level, Delany nudged a quick single to mid-on to get Ireland over the line with three balls remaining.

Image: Clipncode/KNCB


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