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12 February 201514:06

Balbirnie steers Ireland to win over Bangladesh

Scotland gives West Indies a fight before falling three runs short in warm-up game

Balbirnie steers Ireland to win over Bangladesh  - Cricket News

West Indies secured a thrilling three-run win against Scotland at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Ireland stormed to a four-wicket win against Bangladesh in its World Cup 2015 warm-up match in Sydney on Thursday (February 12), while West Indies won by three runs against a spirited Scotland side.

Having elected to field first at the Blacktown Olympic Park Oval, Ireland made an impression immediately as John Mooney and Max Sorensen, the two new ball bowlers who picked up three wickets each, led the way in dismissing Bangladesh for 189 in 48.2 overs. Then, Ed Joyce’s 47 and Andy Balbirnie’s unbeaten 63 helped Ireland finish the formalities with 19 balls to spare.

The day started with Mooney having Tamim Iqbal, who had made 81 in Bangladesh’s three-wicket defeat against Pakistan, caught by William Porterfield in the fifth over, and that set the tone. Anamul Haque and Soumya Sarkar (45), who was tried out at No. 4, tried to resurrect the innings with a 58-run stand, but once Haque gave Porterfield his second catch, Ireland didn't give an inch.

Mushfiqur Rahim made 26 when George Dockrell got the better of him, while Shakib Al Hasan and Mashrafe Mortaza fell to Sorensen as he finished with figures of 3 for 31 in 9.2 overs.

Ireland lost Paul Stirling early in the chase, and was soon 78 for 4, but Joyce and Balbirnie added 59 runs for the fifth wicket in 14.1 overs to keep the chase on course. After Joyce became Taijul Islam’s second wicket, Balbirnie and Kevin O’Brien added 41 runs at nearly seven runs per over to take Ireland to the finish line.

Ireland, who are in Pool B, opens its World Cup campaign against West Indies in Nelson on February 16, and Bangladesh plays its first Pool A match against Afghanistan in Canberra on February 18.

To view the full scorecard of the match between Ireland and Bangladesh, click here:

In the other warm-up match of the day, at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Scotland put quite a fight against West Indies. Chasing 314 for what would have been their second win in as many practice games building up to the World Cup, Kyle Coetzer hit 96 at the top of the order, but lack of contribution from the tail left them shortchanged.

Coetzer and Calum MacLeod started the innings steadily by putting on 75 runs in 14.4 overs before MacLeod became the first wicket to fall, trapped in front of the wicket by Andre Russell for 32.

Two more wickets later, Coetzer found support in Freddie Coleman, who made 34. The duo added 60 runs for the fourth wicket before Coetzer became Nikita Miller’s only victim of the innings in the second ball of the 35th over. Coetzer’s 106-ball knock included 14 fours.

The game seemed to have gone out of Scotland’s grasp when Richie Berrington and Matthew Cross, the wicketkeeper, revved up things with a stand of 86 runs for the sixth wicket in 53 balls. But, after Roach sent Cross back for 39 and Berrington was run out for 66 in a space of four balls, the chase lost its fizz.

Scotland needed 12 runs in the final over bowled by Roach with two wickets in hand, but could manage only eight runs and were restricted to 308 for 9.

Earlier, West Indies, who won the toss, were reduced to 59 for 3 but staged a recovery courtesy Denesh Ramdin’s 88 and Lendl Simmons’s 55.

Chris Gayle was the first to go when he was caught behind off Iain Wardlaw. Though Dwayne Smith, Gayle’s opening partner, hit two sixes and five fours on his way to 45, he gave Cross his second catch behind the stumps in the 12th over and Marlon Samuels didn't trouble the scorer as Cross accepted another offering.

It fell upon Darren Bravo, who made a cautious 43, and Ramdin to rebuild with an association of 75 runs before Ramdin added another 117 runs with Simmons.

More than the runs in the fifth-wicket stand, it was the manner in which they came in 14.5 overs that left Scotland short of ideas. Simmons, who was plagued by back injury during West Indies tour of India last year, was the aggressor with a 47-ball 55 as West Indies crossed the 250-run mark without much fuss.

Once Simmons and Ramdin, who scored 88 in 86 balls, fell in a space of one run, Russell and Darren Sammy used the long handle to good effect to contribute to the 61 runs made in the last 5.1 overs. Russell gave Alasdair Evans his third wicket in the final over of the innings, and Sammy and Miller were run out off the last two balls, but West Indies had recovered well to reach 313 for 9.

Scotland play New Zealand, the co-hosts, in Dunedin on February 17.

To view the full scorecard of the match between Scotland and West Indies, click here: