Ireland v Scotland, 2nd ODI at Academy Oval, Dubai
Ireland 331/6 (50 overs; P Stirling 74, N O’Brien 51, A Balbirnie 47, K O’Brien 46, S Singh 45, G Wilson 40*; S Whittingham 3-58, S Cameron 2-64)
Scotland 307/9 (50 overs; M Jones 74, M Leask 59, C MacLeod 58, M Cross 33, G Munsey 30; G Dockrell 2-43, B McCarthy 2-67, P Chase 2-78)
Ireland beat Scotland by 24 runs to win the tri-series
Ireland clinched the Desert Tri-Series with a 24-run win over Scotland in a high scoring encounter in Dubai.
The Boys In Green equalled their highest ODI total of 331, but they needed them all as a battling Scotland gave them a scare before finishing just short on 307.
Batting first, Ireland once again lost William Porterfield early, but Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie shared their second consecutive century partnership to get their side back on track.
Stirling hit ten boundaries as he top scored with 74 – his 15th ODI half century - adding 117 in 23 overs with Balbirnie (47), before both fell in quick succession.
After a hesitant start Simi Singh soon found his range, as he and Niall O’Brien went through the gears, sharing a fourth wicket stand of 97 in 13 overs. O’Brien (51) fell shortly after reaching his 17th ODI fifty, and Singh went four balls later for 45.
There was no respite for the beleaguered Scottish attack as Kevin O’Brien – winning his 300th cap – and Gary Wilson plundered 85 in just 8 overs to take the total beyond 300.
O’Brien cleared the ropes four times in a hard-hit 46 from just 24 balls, while Wilson’s unbeaten 40 came from 31 balls (2 fours, 2 sixes) as Ireland added 103 in the final ten overs to post 331 for 6 – the same total they made against Zimbabwe in the 2015 World Cup.
Scotland, to their credit gave it a real go as Michael Jones (74) made his second half century in his first two games, adding 67 with George Munsey (30) and 60 with Matt Cross (33).
The required rate was soon into double figures but that only spurred the big-hitting duo of Michael Leask and Calum MacLeod to new heights as they kept their supporters dreaming, smashing 95 off 59 balls to leave the equation at 68 needed from 30 balls.
However George Dockrell (2-43) bowled Leask for 59, while Barry McCarthy accounted for MacLeod (58) shortly afterwards and the Irish could breathe again as they completed the win – their sixth successive in ODI’s.