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11-Jul-2010 03:15:00 GMT
Ireland v Scotland, ICC WCL Division 1, final, Amstelveen

Ireland Retain WCL Title With Victory Over Scotland

Amsterdam: Ireland beat Scotland by six wickets in the World League Division One final in Amstelveen on Saturday as they retained their title in convincing fashion.

After being put in to bat, Scotland were all out for 232 after 48.5 overs, with Fraser Watts scoring 98 and Preston Mommsen 80.

Ireland never looked in any serious trouble as Kevin O'Brien hit an unbeaten 98 and combined with Andrew White (79) to knock off the bulk of the runs in a fourth-wicket partnership of 160.

It was just reward for Ireland, who went unbeaten through the competition having also beaten Scotland earlier in the campaign.

"We had set ourselves the target of winning every game and retain the title and I am just over the moon to achieve that objective," said Ireland captain Trent Johnston."

The Australia-born all-rounder added: "Kevin (O'Brien) has matured as a cricketer and is working very hard on his game. We call (Andrew) White a 'finisher' so I was confident that the two would take us home after we were struggling at 51 for three."

The Scots had looked set to post a truly testing total as their openers racked up 141 in a little over 30 overs.

The pair took the score past 50 at a relatively sedate pace but it was Mommsen who started to up the rate when he plundered 14 runs off one Nigel Jones over.

He smashed a six off George Dockrell shortly after reaching his half-century but was out when he edged O'Brien behind.

That precipitated a cascade of wickets, with seven falling for just 28 runs before Watts finally found another willing partner in captain Gordon Drummond.

He scored a brisk 30 in a partnership of 57 but was bowled by Alex Cusack, and Watts fell to Jones soon after.

"When we reached 141 without loss, we were targeting 280 and this is what we should have got at the end," Drummond said. "Something we need to learn is to convert good starts into winning scores and kill off the opposition."

However, he added: "If you had offered me a second place and four wins out of six matches before the start of the tournament, I would have definitely taken it because we arrived here without a couple of key players and finished fifth in South Africa last year."

In reply, Ireland lost Andrew Balbirnie and Cusack cheaply while Paul Stirling (31) kept the score moving at the other end.

He was bowled by Drummond with the score on 51, but that brought O'Brien and White together - and they never looked back.

When White was out to Gordon Goudie with the score on 211 the only question was whether O'Brien would reach 100.

John Mooney got in the way of that particular ambition with an unbeaten 12, but O'Brien did at least have the satisfaction of scoring the winning run.

Brief score
232 (Watts 98, Mommsen 80)
Ireland 233 for 4 (O'Brien 98*, White 79)
Result Ireland won by six wickets
MOM KJ O'Brien (Ireland)
Player of the series TLW Cooper (Netherlands)

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