Tucker just shy of perfect over as Irish fall short to Scots
Lorcan Tucker came within one blow of striking six sixes in an over at Oak Hill yesterday, but on a day of big hitting, Scotland A replied with nine of their own to win the final match of the Twenty20 series against Ireland Wolves by seven wickets.
Tucker was caught on the boundary in his bid to become the first batsman in Irish colours to complete the perfect over, but it left the Wolves on 90-3.
Only 76 came off the remaining 11 overs, though, and the Scots cantered home with 30 balls to spare.
The fifth six off Michael Leask's second over brought up Tucker's 50 in 18 balls but the Scotland bowler had the last laugh as he conceded just six runs from his last two overs and took three more wickets, including the huge one of Wolves' batsman-in-form Shane Getkate for just nine.
When Scotland's batsmen replied with 72 in the six-over powerplay, the pressure was on the Wolves bowlers and they could not cope.
Peter Chase, Getkate and Mark Adair each claimed a wicket but they conceded 15, 13 and 13 runs an over respectively as George Munsey led the charge to victory.
The opening batsman was only three balls slower than Tucker to his half-century and was out in the eighth over, caught at the wicket off a skyer, for 69 from 29 balls, having hit eight fours and five sixes.
Captain Dylan Budge was Ireland's last wicket as man-of-the-series Craig Wallace hurried his side to victory, winning the match with three sixes in five balls off Getkate.
Jack Tector and Ross Allen were recalled in place of Ollie Metcalfe and Graham Kennedy, but Allen was not asked to bowl and Tector's miserable series continued when he missed a sweep shot in the second over.
Indeed, Ireland had specialist batsmen yesterday at eight and nine as Tyrone Kane has been carrying a niggle throughout both the 50-over and T20 series and it was not worth the risk bowling with the tour starting in three weeks' time.
Nathan McGuire hit the first six of the day before he was caught at mid-off in the fifth over but that let in Tucker who hit his second ball to the boundary and his sixth over it.
That was only the warm-up act for the ninth over, however, as Tucker launched his assault on the off spinner and only just failing to hit six sixes, caught just above head height on the long-on boundary.
J Tector lbw b Tahir 2
G Delany c Wallace b Budge 33
N McGuire c Greaves b McCreath 13
L Tucker c Budge b Leask 51
H Tector b Tahir 22
S Getkate lbw b Leask 9
M Adair b Cameron 1
T Kane c McCreath b Leask 7
R Allen lbw b Leask 9
C Young not out 1
P Chase not out 0
Extras (1b 9lb 7w 1nb) 18
Total (9 wkts, 20 overs) 166
Fall: 1-5 2-24 3-90 4-133 5-137 6-140 7-149 8-164 9-165
Bowling: S Cameron 4-0-26-1, H Tahir 4-1-18-2, F McCreath 2-0-25-1, M Leask 4-0-42-4, C Greaves 3-0-17-0, D Budge 3-0-28-1
G Munsey c Tucker b Getkate 69
F McCreath b Chase 6
D Budge c Delany b Adair 28
C Wallace not out 37
T Bradburn not out 15
Extras (11w 1nb) 12
Total (3 wkts, 15 overs) 167
Did not bat: M Leask, H Tahir, C Greaves, S Cameron, C McBride, C Garden
Fall: 1-47 2-93 3-116
Bowling: C Young 3-0-23-0, P Chase 3-0-45-1, M Adair 3-0-38-0, S Getkate 3-0-38-1, G Delany 3-0-23-0
Scotland A won by 7 wickets