O'Brien steers Ireland to cricket victory over Scotland

Niall O’Brien’s unbeaten 80 guided Ireland to a hard-fought three-wicket win over Scotland in the tri-series in Dubai.

O'Brien steers Ireland to cricket victory over Scotland

Niall O’Brien’s unbeaten 80 guided Ireland to a hard-fought three-wicket win over Scotland in the tri-series in Dubai.

O’Brien hit three fours and two sixes from 106 balls en route to his best one-day international score as Ireland overcame a poor start in reply to Scotland’s 216 for nine.

The left-handed number four found his most durable ally in John Mooney, the pair putting together a much-needed stand of 61 for the seventh wicket.

Even after Mooney went, O’Brien would not be denied as Ireland scrambled the remaining runs with 3.3 overs left to record their second victory in three days following a three-wicket success against Afghanistan.

Both teams hit early snags with the bat, Scotland 17 for three before Matt Machan (86) dug out a competitive score and Ireland then stumbling to seven for two as Iain Wardlaw struck twice – only for a gritty O’Brien to rescue the situation with his 12th one-day international half-century.

Scotland’s batsmen had been in trouble almost immediately after being put in, Craig Young (three for 27) seeing off openers Kyle Coetzer and Calum MacLeod for just two runs between them.

But Machan dug in for a patient 120-ball innings which contained just four fours before he was ninth out.

The Sussex left-hander put on 65 for the fifth wicket with Richie Berrington, the only half-century stand of the innings.

Scotland have lost two matches out of two so far, after last week’s eight-wicket defeat to Afghanistan.

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