O’Brien demands improvement despite ODI series win

Ireland held off a determined Scotland fightback to secure a three-wicket victory in yesterday’s second one-day international at Malahide.

O’Brien demands improvement despite ODI series win

Skipper Kevin O’Brien scored 67 as Ireland completed the win with 34 balls to spare, but they were made to fight by a Scotland side that showed far more spirit than during Monday’s seven-wicket capitulation on the same ground.

Richie Berrington hit a magnificent maiden ODI century as the Scots recovered from a first-hour batting collapse to post 221 in 49.5 overs.

Max Sorensen ripped through the Scotland frontline batsmen in the first hour, taking 4-19 in his first six overs to leave Grant Bradburn’s side reeling at 48-5, but Berrington batted superbly in the afternoon sun to hit an undefeated 101 from 126 balls.

Josh Davey claimed the wickets of openers Andrew Balbirnie and John Anderson to reduce Ireland to 35-2 in the ninth over of the reply, but a partnership of 68 between O’Brien and Andrew Poynter (21) and one of 54 between O’Brien and Stuart Thompson (39) seemed to return momentum to the home side.

The Scotland bowlers didn’t wilt, however, on a pitch that never allowed a batsman to settle, and when O’Brien was caught by wicketkeeper Matty Cross off the bowling of Ali Evans for 67, it prompted a mini-collapse that saw Thompson, Stuart Poynter (8) and Andrew White (1) depart in the space of 20 deliveries.

However, the cool heads of John Mooney (27*) and Sorensen (14*) brought Ireland home as Phil Simmons’ side went 2-0 up to complete the series win.

Despite the win, Ireland captain O’Brien called for an improvement in tomorrow’s final ODI at the same venue.

“We had a five or six-over blip where we lost wickets, and we had spoken in team meetings with the younger guys about learning to concentrate when we lose wickets.” he said.

“That is something we need to rectify going into tomorrow.”

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