Ireland v Scotland, WCL Championship, Belfast September 8, 2013

Ireland claim WCL Championship with thumping win

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ireland 166 for 3 (Niall O"Brien 65*, Joyce 39) beat Scotland 165 (MacLeod 39) by 7 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Having already ticked off one major box - qualifying for the 2015 World Cup in July - Ireland secured the World Cricket League Championship trophy after beating Scotland convincingly by seven wickets at Stormont.

It was a one-sided encounter after the two sides played out a thriller two days ago, with the hosts winning both games. Ireland's seamers set it up by bundling out Scotland for 165 and their batsmen, led by Niall O'Brien, needed just 33 overs to chase it down.

Scotland chose to bat and lost their first wicket in the fourth over when Freddie Coleman was trapped lbw by Max Sorensen. Hamish Gardiner and Matt Machan added 25 for the second wicket before Gardiner edged to the keeper, giving the seamer Eddie Richardson his first ODI wicket. The Ireland top order failed to put up sizeable stands, and were struggling at 61 for 4 in the 21st over.

Calum MacLeod and Richie Berrington then staged the only half-century stand of the innings. The pair struggled to push the scoring initially, at one stage scoring just five runs in as many overs. Berrington broke the drought with two boundaries off Richardson. Scotland took the Powerplay in the 36th over, but failed to capitalise, scoring only 19 runs off it. The partnership ended in the 42nd over, when Berrington chipped a full delivery to wide mid-on, giving Kevin O'Brien his third wicket. MacLeod tried to slog a slower ball by Richardson to cow corner but lost his stumps, leaving Scotland at 145 for 6 in the 45th over. The pressure caused by the lack of runs led to the lower order throwing their bats around and Scotland could only manage a modest 165. Stuart Thompson ended the innings when he bowled Iain Wardlaw in the 50th over.

Wardlaw was in action early with the ball when he removed the Ireland openers within seven overs. William Porterfield, who scored a century against England in an ODI earlier in the week, fell for 5 and the visitors had claimed an important wicket. However, Scotland couldn't sustain the pressure after those breakthroughs. Ed Joyce and Niall O'Brien took the game away from them with a stand of 69, interrupted by rain. Joyce fell in the 19th over when he was bowled by the spinner Majid Haq. An aggressive stand of 75 between Niall O'Brien and Gary Wilson sealed the win for Ireland with 17 overs to spare, a testament to their domination in the tournament in which they dropped just one game out of 14.

Scotland needed to win both their weekend fixtures to boost their chances of gaining direct qualification for the World Cup. Having failed to do so, they will have to try their luck in the World Cup Qualifiers in New Zealand next year. Afghanistan, currently third in the points table with 15 points, can finish second and gain qualification, if they can beat Kenya in their two remaining games.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on September 10, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    Well done Ireland. I am really impressed by the performance of Irish Players. Happy seeing them finish on the top of WCL and Intercontinental Cup tables. They have recently played a very good cricket, and the strong full members including England and Pakistan had a very tough time playing them. Ireland and Afghanistan are the rising stars, in both of the countries almost all the population wholeheartedly love to watch and play cricket. Afghanistan's recent successes against Scotland, Namibia whitewashing the series and beating India's U23 proves they are the strongest associate side.

    Hope both of these countries get the Test Status asap (as soon as possible), and hope ICC provide more chances to play the full members.

  • Android on September 9, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    well done Ireland cricket team better than Zimbabwe and Bangladesh cricket and also mashallah afghan cricket is also the best if afghan cricket team played good cricket against Kenya and qualify for the world cup in 2015 in Australia inshallah these two team it main afghanistan and Ireland is the best cricket team in the world if icc give to afghanistan and Ireland matches against ful members after this you see the afghanistan and Ireland is the best team in world inshallah we are the best afghan cricket team inshallah because afghan love the cricket we also afghan cricket better than bangldish cricket team and Zimbabwe we all afghan kindly from icc full membership that we afghan prove that we afghan cricket team is best team in world we all afghan want kindly such chance that we prove you that we are going to well inshallah we afghan cricket team full membership from icc thanks alot icc

  • Dummy4 on September 9, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    Afghanistan and Ireland are far better than Zimbabwe and bangladesh..

  • Mark on September 9, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    As a South African, I have followed Ireland's progress. They are a strong and talented side. I agree with many above who say that Ireland need to be playing much more cricket against the full member teams, as well as their A teams, many which are very strong. Allow them to grow and learn from the top teams.

  • Fazal Mahmood on September 9, 2013, 9:27 GMT

    congratulations Ireland, Ireland is the most competitive team around the associate members but don not forget that Afghanistan is the rapid rising team around the world and is the biggest challenge among the associate members.

  • Joe on September 9, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    Its pretty easy for Ireland to play at least 12 ODIs a year against full members which shouldn't at all be a problem. For example in early 2014, Zimbabwe have no Cricket so a 3 match ODI series between Ireland can easily be fitted. When India and Sri Lanka tours England in the summer, move quickly over to Ireland for only 2 ODIs each. Bangladesh will be touring West Indies around July so why not go to Ireland for a bit of preparation and play them in a 3 match ODI series. And late in the year 2014 there is a possibility of a tri series in Bangladesh also involving Zimbabwe so why not willingly invite Ireland so we can see who is the best amongst 3 teams ranked amongst the bottom. So in total that's about upto 15 ODIs against full members in 2014 and really its not causing much of a problem in terms of schedule if you look at it and analyse it like I have done.

    The fact is Ireland need to be playing lots of ODI Cricket annually.

  • Pushpakumara on September 9, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    Congratulations!Ireland is really competitive.They are better than bangladesh and zimbabwe especially in pacy,bouncy conditions.Very soon they would match England and New Zealand at least in ODI format.I think they should be given test status within another 2-3 years.

  • Srinivasan on September 9, 2013, 5:23 GMT

    Its about time ICC gives a reasonable FTP for Ireland and Afghanistan. Cricket is not played in many countries, if they want to spread it across the globe, they should let many competitive countries to play more matches. Cricket is hugely popular in Ireland and Afghanistan. They should also stop England in poaching best players from Ireland and Zimbabwe. It just kills the sport in their countries.

  • Dummy4 on September 9, 2013, 5:04 GMT

    Congratulations to IRELAND............They win the WCL Championship and already qualify 20 icc world cup 2015.They hava all qualities to play test maches.I hope ireland will gain test status soon............................

  • Dummy4 on September 9, 2013, 4:20 GMT

    Ohhhhhhhhhhh loving it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ireland and afghanistan are the next two biggie's in line , but unfortunately england is utilising most of the ireland's talent bad , ireland would have easily defeated any test side with most of their players back in team