Ireland Make It Four From Four Against Italy

Ireland and Scotland took their fourth consecutive wins in the European Championship Division One by beating Italy and the Netherlands respectively while Denmark beat fellow Scandinavians Norway by eight wickets. Italy, ranked well below Ireland, did not embarrass themselves in reaching 158 for six from their 50 overs, but it was never going to be enough for them to pull off an unlikely win. Top scorer for Italy was Alessandro Bonora with 31 while former Lancashire batsman Joe Scuderi hit 29. Kevin O'Brien and Alex Cusack picked up a couple of wickets before Ireland reached 159 for six in 36.5 overs. Paul Stirling hit an unbeaten 56 after Gary Wilson (32) and Will Porterfield (21) had set the platform for what turned out to be a comprehensive win. Scotland cruised to a six-wicket win over the Netherlands, who put in another below-par performance despite being able to call upon the services of Ryan ten Doeschate, whose contribution was a golden duck as his side were bundled out for 117 and two for 24 as Scotland made 120 for four in 22.5 overs. Eric Szwarczynski top scored for the Netherlands with a rearguard innings of 53 while Dan van Bunge hit 34 but elsewhere, it was single figure scores all round, John Blain taking five for 22. Ryan Watson finally found some form with an unbeaten 54. Norway, yet to get off the mark in the tournament were well beaten by eight wickets by Denmark, for whom Freddie Klokker scored an unbeaten 119 with Michael Pedersen hitting 53. Norway were bowled out for 207 before Denmark reached 210 for two off of 38 overs. © Cricket World 2008