Pacer takes 5 for 46 on ODI debut in seven-wicket win over Scotland
Ireland came up with a commanding performance to register a seven-wicket win over Scotland in the first One-Day International of the three-match series on Monday (September 8). Craig Young, the young fast bowler, grasped his opportunity to make a compelling case to be on the plane to Australia and New Zealand for the World Cup with a five-wicket haul on his debut, before Kevin O’Brien played an innings of consummate quality as Ireland coasted to victory with 14 overs to spare.
Scotland was outplayed by the home side in every department. Young, who was released by Sussex at the end of last season, bowled with great diligence to return figures of 5 for 46 as he became just the ninth player to take a five-wicket haul on ODI debut.
A hostile spell, during which he extracted considerable movement and bounce, halted Scotland’s initial charge as it submerged without a hint of defiance. The same cannot be said about Ireland’s batsmen. Devoid of four of the senior members of the top order, it barely showed as Andrew Balbirnie negated the early Scottish onslaught with a patient 38 to quash any hope the visitors had of exposing a relatively inexperienced middle order.
Scotland was unable to apply any sort of pressure. O’Brien underpinned a leisurely chase and passed the landmark of 2,000 ODI runs as he hit eight boundaries on his way to an unbeaten 56. His importance to the Irish cause cannot be underestimated.
The limelight was not to be taken away from Young though. Tall and well built, he seemed to catch both Hamish Gardiner and Preston Mommsen unawares with deliveries that got onto them a lot quicker than expected. Mommsen was left particularly bemused as a sharp delivery that pitched on middle swung and then nipped away, managing to pierce through his defences and clip the top of off stump.
Michael Leask provided some temporary resistance. On just his fourth appearance, the 23-year-old showed maturity beyond his years to add a sense of stability to an otherwise abject Scottish batting display that was on the brink of submersion at 101 for 7 when Freddie Coleman was strangled down the leg side by Stuart Thompson's first delivery.
A 54-run partnership between Leask and Safyaan Sharif halted Ireland's charge and added a semblance of respectability to Scotland's effort. It was too little, too late though. And it was fitting that Young returned to round off proceedings to cap a performance that should see his name pencilled into Phil Simmons's World Cup squad.