20 June 2015
Chance for Ireland to draw level in T20I series
Saturday’s encounter added to three-game by Irish and Scottish cricket boards to make up for abandoned second game
Following the abandonment, the two boards – Cricket Ireland and Cricket Scotland – with the approval of the ICC, decided to add an extra game to the series, which also serves as warm-up for the forthcoming World T20 Qualifiers, making it a four-T20I affair.
Scotland and Ireland will now meet on Saturday (June 20), at 3.30pm at the same venue.
The lack of match time in the format, however, will worry Ireland. The first T20I was its first game since its clash against the Netherlands, which it lost, in the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh more than 12 months ago.
Heading into the second game, Ireland made three changes to the XI that lost to Scotland in the first T20I. George Dockrell, Andrew Balbirnie and Alex Cusack came in for Andy McBrine, David Rankin and Max Sorensen. Scotland made two changes, with Con de Lange and Gavin Main coming in for Safyaan Sharif and Craig Wallace. Those changes are expected to stay in place for what is now going to be the third game.
Scotland made a great start to a crucial six weeks when it cruised to a six-wicket victory in game one on Thursday. A disciplined bowling performance, marked by two wickets each for Sharif, the right-arm pacer, and Michael Leask, the offspinner, kept the host to 146 for 5. Matthew Cross then blazed his way to a 33-ball 60 as Scotland successfully chased the target with 23 balls to spare.
Ireland suffered mainly due to the core of its side being unavailable because of county commitments. But for promising debits for Tyrone Kane and Rankin, there were hardly any positives for the host. While Kane claimed three wickets in his first five balls in international cricket, Rankin – the younger brother of Boyd – top scored for Ireland with a 37-ball 34.
Kevin O'Brien is leading Ireland after William Porterfield, the regular captain, Gary Wilson, the wicketkeeper, Paul Stirling and Niall O'Brien were unavailable. John Mooney is also out because of personal reasons.
The fourth and final T20I will be played on Sunday.
Ireland: Kevin O'Brien (capt), Andrew Balbirnie, Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Tyrone Kane, Andrew McBrine, Graeme McCarter, David Rankin, Andrew Poynter, Stuart Poynter (wk), Max Sorensen, John Anderson, Stuart Thompson, Craig Young.
Scotland: Preston Mommsen (capt), Richie Berrington, Kyle Coetzer, Matthew Cross (wk), Josh Davey, Con de Lange, Alasdair Evans, Michael Leask, Gavin Main, George Munsey, Safyaan Sharif, Craig Wallace, Mark Watt.