Ireland win Stormont thriller

Ireland

Scotland came within one ball of keeping their World Cup automatic qualification hopes alive, but Ireland pulled a rabbit out of the hat to win by one wicket, with one ball to spare, in Belfast on Friday.

Scotland came within one ball of keeping their World Cup automatic qualification hopes alive, but Ireland pulled a rabbit out of the hat to win by one wicket, with one ball to spare, in Belfast on Friday.

Scotland reached a testing total of 223 for nine on the back of captain Preston Mommsen's unbeaten half-century. For much of the Irish reply, that 91 by the skipper looked to be enough, but Tim Murtagh ensured a thrilling win for the hosts.

The win for Ireland means Scotland will have to play a qualification tournament, as they needed to win both World Cricket League games in Stormont to go through automatically.

The Scottish innings was held together by their skipper whose career-best 91 not out featured 10 boundaries and spanned 122 deliveries. If it weren't for him, the Saltires would have had a tough time posting a decent total, as they were 56 for three at one stage.

The other significant knock came from Matt Machan, who made 27, as Ireland spinner George Dockrell took four wickets, and Max Sorensen removed Machan and Freddie Coleman. Sorensen went on to make a vital 31 with the bat.

Ireland's chase got off to a good start, with William Porterfield again showing his worth, adding 62 to the century he made against England earlier in the week. He and Paul Stirling put on 95 for the first wicket as they hosts looked to be cruising.

But Majid Haq came to the party with Stirling's wicket, and Porterfield departed three runs later. Ed Joyce then fell for 11, and Gary Wilson for two, putting the cat amongst the pigeons in the middle overs.

The O'Brien brothers, Niall and Kevin, were unable to add decent scores and Ireland were on 131 for six, leaving the tail to do the work. Sorensen and Trent Johnson did well to add 34 runs together, before the veteran Johnson fell for 24.

Sorensen's stumping in the 49th over seemed to signal the end for the Irish, but Murtagh went about chasing the 12 required in the final over. He struck a six off the fourth ball and followed it up with a four that sealed the win.

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