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Cross knock steers Scots past Irish

Matthew Cross' half-century led Scotland to a comfortable six-wicket victory over Ireland in the Twenty20 series opener at Bready Cricket Club.

Ireland managed a below-par 146 for five after captain Kevin O'Brien opted to bat first - a mark Scotland breezed past with 23 balls remaining.

Cross provided the decisive innings, striking 60 in 34 deliveries.

With a handful of contracted county players unavailable, a total of eight players made their international debuts in the format - five Irishmen and three Scots.

David Rankin was the most successful of Ireland's new-look top three, managing 33, while O'Brien was threatening to kick on when Josh Davey removed him for a rapid 30.

Ireland's total was boosted by an unbroken stand of 42 in 25 balls between Stuart Thompson and Max Sorensen.

Cross came to the crease with the score on 18 and left with much of the hard work done at 93 for two, becoming the first of Tyrone Kane's three wickets.

The Scots finished strongly, Richie Berrington (24 not out) and Craig Wallace (26no) adding 56 in 32 balls for the fifth wicket, with Wallace ending it by turning Kane for four.

The sides meet again on Friday before the three-game series concludes on Sunday.

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