Dublin: Ireland beat Scotland by 4 wickets in their T20I tri-series encounter at Dublin on Tuesday to go on top of the table having won both their matches thus far.
Fifties from Andrew Balbernie (64) and Gareth Delaney (52) saw the hosts of the tri-series – that features Netherlands as the third team – comfortably chase down an imposing target of 194 in just 17.4 overs.
Scotland, who chose to bat first after skipper Kyle Coetzer won the toss, would have been confident of toppling the hosts after a half-century from Calum MacLeod brought their total near the 200-run mark.
There were other small but useful contributions made by the rest of the batting order as well yet it was MacLeod’s innings that propelled them towards what would normally be a winning target.
Veteran pacer Boyd Rankin had run through the middle order with the help of Gareth Delaney, the pair combining for 5 of the 7 Scottish wickets that fell.
Yet the fact that hard-hitting batsman Kevin O’Brien was dismissed early gave the visitors some hope, hopes that were quickly dashed by Delany and Balbernie.
The former departed at the end of the eighth over but Ireland already had 99 on the board. By the time Balbernie departed, the hosts were only 28 runs away from a win.
There were a few jittery moments that came after Balbernie departed, as the home side lost 3 wickets for 19 runs.
However, Mark Adair finished things off with a boundary when exactly 4 runs were needed for the win.