Ireland Maintain Perfect Start To World Cricket League

Ireland Maintain Perfect Start To World Cricket League
Ireland Maintain Perfect Start To World Cricket League
©Action Images / Scott Heavey Livepic

Ireland beat Scotland by five wickets in a low-scoring, bowler-dominated encounter to make it three wins out of three at the ICC World Cricket League Division One event in the Netherlands.

After all three matches in round two were affected by rain, conditions in Voorburg favoured the bowlers and Scotland were in early trouble at 40 for five inside 20 overs after Ireland won the toss and reaped the rewards.

Trent Johnston and Nigel Jones picked up a brace of wickets and one apiece for Kevin O'Brien, Alex Cusack and John Mooney saw the Scots dismissed for 117 in 47.2 overs as Neil McCallum (49) and Dougie Lockhart (19) attempted to recover the situation and were the only two players to reach double figures.

In reply, Ireland found batting little easier initially as they lost early wickets to slip to 12 for two before 37 from opener Paul Stirling and 41 not out from Kevin O'Brien steadied the ship. They then lost two wickets for two runs to fall to 58 for four before Mooney's unbeaten 20 helped them get home in 34.2 overs.

The Netherlands took victory by seven wickets after they bowled Canada out for 168 and chased down the runs with more than seven overs to spare.

Ashish Bagai, not for the first time, played a lone hand for Canada by scoring 71 as Mark Jonkman and Bradley Kruger took three wickets apiece.

An unbeaten 84 in 121 balls from opener Eric Szwarczynski then anchored the home side's innings as Tom Cooper failed in his bid to extend his world record run of consecutive half-centuries at the start of an ODI career, falling for 39 meaning he will have to settle for three in a row.

Tom de Grooth (1) and Wesley Barresi (0) fell cheaply before a patient unbeaten 35 from Bas Zuiderent helped Szwarczynski bring the game home and register the hosts' second consecutive victory.

The game between Kenya and Afghanistan went down to the final ball, from which Shapoor Zadran, new to the crease, swept for the winning run, with one wicket remaining, to leave Kenya without a point from their first three matches.

Kenya batted strongly to reach 233 for seven Collins Obuya (60) and Thomas Odoyo (52 in 33 balls) scored half-centuries and Hamid Hassan took three for 32.

After Samiullah Shenwari led Afghanistan's run chase with 82 and wickets tumbled, Hassan hit the final ball of the penultimate over for six to leave six more runs required to win. With the scores level, Hasan attempted to hit over the infield with two remaining but only succeeded in being caught by Francis Otieno before Zadran, who had earlier picked up two for 54, held his nerve to close out the game and a second win for the Afghans.

Nehemiah Odhiambo emerged as the pick of the bowlers, notwithstanding conceding the late six to Hassan, with figures of three for 53 while Shem Ngoche and Jimmy Kamande - who bowled the final over - both took two wickets.

Standings: Ireland 6 points, Scotland, Netherlands, Afghanistan 4 points, Canada, Kenya 0 points

Next fixtures (7th July): Canada v Ireland, Kenya v Scotland, Netherlands v Afghanistan

© Cricket World 2010