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Ireland win as selectors pick tour squad

By Ian Callender

The Ireland selectors went into session last night to pick the final three names for the pre-World Cup tour to Australia and New Zealand, but they had already made up their mind about their pace bowling attack.

Graeme McCarter had again been left out as Ireland named an unchanged team which duly completed a three wickets win over Scotland and take an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Whether it means the Gloucestershire and former Fox Lodge bowler is still in contention for a World Cup place will be revealed when the 18-man squad is announced, but Max Sorensen and Craig Young appear nailed on after again leading from the front.

The opening bowlers shared seven wickets in Monday's emphatic victory and repeated the dose at Malahide yesterday as the Scots, after again losing the toss, were reduced to 11 for three and 48 for five.

But, despite accurate spells by John Mooney and Kevin O'Brien, Ireland failed to ram home their advantage and an unbeaten century by Richie Berrington saw the visitors reach 221.

Andrew Balbirnie and John Anderson were two of the others waiting to find out if they would be leaving for Australia in 12 days' time, but neither did themselves any favours, both caught behind in the space of two overs chasing wide balls outside off stump. If only one goes, Balbirnie is the favourite.

Andrew Poynter is a certainty but he was overshadowed in Ireland's third wicket stand of 68 by Kevin O'Brien, who was poetry in motion yesterday as he completed back to back 50s for Ireland for the first time since his three-in-a-row at the World Cricket League in Kenya in 2007.

His surprising dismissal for 67, from 65 balls, the ball after a glorious extra cover drive gave him his ninth boundary, led to a mini collapse with Stuart Poynter and Andrew White, in his first ODI innings since February 2012, both falling in the space of 16 balls.

Poynter showed his inexperience when he was run out after a superb stop at mid-wicket.

Still, there was John Mooney, back in the middle with the bat for Ireland for the first time since January, and Max Sorensen to see Ireland home, although if the latter had not been dropped on one, it would have been even closer.

Belfast Telegraph

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