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Richie Berrington blitz finishes off Irish

So it's not only Ireland who can chase 320+ to win a one-day international! In their last game before they meet England next month in The Rematch, after their stunning World Cup chase in Bangalore, Scotland gave the Irish a bitter-sweet taste of their own medicine.

When William Porterfield's side scored 320 for eight, after being put in to bat at The Grange, they could be forgiven for thinking they had done more than enough to make it eight wins out of eight in the last three years of matches between the teams.

But for Kevin O'Brien in India, read Richie Berrington in Edinburgh, the city where Ireland have never won. The Scottish No 6 didn't emulate his Irish counterpart's 50-ball century against England but only because he didn't have to. When he was out, with Scotland just eight short of their victory target, Berrington had hit half a dozen sixes and two fours in a 23-ball innings of 56 which allowed the Scots to coast home by five wickets with a ridiculous nine balls to spare.

The innings had been set up by an equally stunning opening partnership of 129 in 19.3 overs by Frazer Watts (54 off 60 balls) and Durham's Kyle Coetzer (89 off 85) as they repeatedly found the short boundary on the Aboreteum Avenue side of the ground.

Ireland must have been delighted with their batting powerplay, which yielded 51 from the five overs, but it was rendered totally inadequate by Berrington and Josh Davey who passed that tally in the first four overs of their powerplay. Another 14 runs off the next over effectively settled the result of the match.

Yet at half-time, all the talk was about another wonderful century by Paul Stirling. The 20-year-old Middlesex opener learned before the match that he was being rested from the county's final Twenty20 game in Bristol tonight but he, again, showed his employers what they will be missing as he brought up his third ODI century in 83 balls. That was actually 14 balls faster than his first 100 in his innings of 177 against Canada last year and yesterday, with 22 overs to bat, he was on course to better that.

But after hitting his sixth maximum, to go with 10 fours, he turned a ball into the hands of Berrington at mid-wicket for 113.

Alex Cusack impressed again at No 3 with 71 from 83 balls and Andrew Poynter, replacing Niall O'Brien who had returned to Northamptonshire, justified getting his place in the batting order with 51 from 34 balls.

"We got a total which was perfectly defendable although we didn't come home as strong as we would have liked in the last 10 overs," said Porterfield. "You have to give credit, though, to how Scotland played but we were sloppy in the field and certainly not up to our usual standards.

"I wouldn't use the word complacency but (much like us against England) Scotland enjoyed the perfect chase."

Belfast Telegraph


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