Ireland v Scotland, Dubai triangular series January 12, 2015

N O'Brien 80* steers Ireland to win

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ireland 220 for 7 (N O'Brien 80*, Mooney 36, Wardlaw 3-49,Berrington 1-34) beat Scotland 216 for 9 (Machan 86, Young 3-27, Cusack 2-35, Mooney 2-52) by three wickets
Scorecard

Niall O'Brien's unbeaten 80 anchored Ireland's 217-run chase and led them to a three-wicket win over Scotland, their second victory of the triangular series.

Like their last game against Afghanistan, Ireland found themselves in trouble early on as both openers were dismissed by the second over, with the score on 7. O'Brien, who walked in to bat at No. 4, led the rebuilding act and held one end steady as Ireland looked for solid partnerships. However, Scotland managed to keep chipping away at the wickets, leaving Ireland at 100 for 5 in the 23rd over. Scotland fast bowler Iain Wardlaw was responsible for most of the damage, dismissing Ireland's openers and Kevin O'Brien for returns of 3 for 49.

Thereon, however, O'Brien ensured that Ireland did not lose control of the chase. His 43-run partnership with Andy Balbirnie was followed by a 61-run partnership for the seventh-wicket with John Mooney. O'Brien and Mooney lifted Ireland to within 13 runs of victory before Mooney was out for 36. Ireland eventually crossed the target in the 47th over.

O'Brien's innings was similar to the role that Matt Machan had played after Scotland were put in to bat. Craig Young's first two overs had yielded two wickets and Mooney struck in the fourth over to leave Scotland tottering at 17 for 3. Machan and Berrington's 65-run partnership helped the side forge a recovery but the rest of the order could not help Machan build on that stand, and two run-outs within a short span of overs did not help. After Machan's 86, the highest contributor to Scotland's score of 216 for 9 were the extras - 30, of which 22 were wides - followed by Berrington's 28.

Young was the most effective bowler for Ireland, with 3 for 27, while Mooney and Cusack picked up two wickets each.

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