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Ireland hold nerve to qualify for U19 World Cup

Ireland U19 qualification
Ireland defended 108 against Scotland in a thrilling match at Grainville to win the tournament and qualify for the U19 ICC Cricket World Cup in New Zealand.

Ireland were looking to replicate their first innings performance from the previous day at Grainville and chose to bat after winning the toss.

Things did not go as planned as the opening partnership between Scottish bowlers Ithisham Malik and Oliver Brown ran through the Irish top order. Irish captain Harry Tector (55) was the only top order batter to survive the onslaught as the Irish collapsed to 27 for 5 in the 12th over. Realising the need to bat through to the 50th over, Tector played a risk-free innings as wickets kept tumbling at the other end. Tector’s wicket was the last to fall, in the 48th over, with the score on 108.

Scotland lost two wickets early in the chase and gave away a few more chances. The Irish were unable to capitalise as opportunities went down in the field. The equation was simple for the Scottish, they had to chase the runs within 42.5 overs to win and qualify for New Zealand.

The Irish built pressure by bowling dot balls and breaking crucial partnerships. Scotland seemed to be heading for the win at 93 for 5, however, an inspired bowling change brought the wicket with the score on 94 as Varun Chopra (1/6) got the crucial breakthrough. Josh Little (3/23) and Aaron Cawley (3/21) capitalised on the momentum and ripped through the tail, leaving the Scottish 6 runs adrift. Jubilant scenes erupted as Irish players and fans celebrated a tense victory.

Click here to view the scorecard.

In the other game of the day, Jersey faced Denmark, although both teams entered the final round of fixtures knowing that qualification to the U19 World Cup was firmly out of reach. However, this did not prevent a great game of cricket, with both sides displaying some of their best performances with the bat on a sunny day at Farmers Cricket Ground. Denmark won the toss and put Jersey into bat, hoping to prevent a repeat of the first match between the sides.

Jersey got off to a stable start, collecting runs but also losing wickets at regular intervals. Jersey captain Harrison Carlyon (45) and Jonathan Heward (29) put on a stand of 68 runs to take the team to 114/2 after 32 overs, before a spell from Denmark bowler Abdullah Mahmood (4/24) reduced Jersey to 115/5. Supported by Oliver Hald (2/26) and Jonas Henriksen (2/24), Denmark continued to take wickets, but a late flurry of runs from Matt Donaldson (36) and Hugo King (18*) took Jersey to 185/9, and gave the island nation their first 50-over innings with the bat.

Denmark fought hard in their reply, and despite the loss of four early wickets, looked to be heading towards the Jersey total after a 108-run partnership between Shangheev Thanikaithasan (61) and Oliver Hald (64) took them to 153/5. Daniel Birrell (5/35) came back for a destructive spell to deny the Danes their first victory of the tournament, and left them stranded on 173 all out, with Edward Giles contributing with figures of 3/17 off seven overs.

Click here to view the scorecard.

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