The most thrilling finish of the opening day of the tournament came at Shaw's Bridge, where Scotland got home off the final ball against Ireland.
Play got under way in late afternoon with the game reduced to 26 overs per side; Scotland won the toss and put Ireland in to bat. The home side began cautiously and had reached just 11 after 5 overs when Hunter fell to the bowling of Paddy Sadler. This brought together Jason van der Merwe and Richard Berry to form what was to be the best partnership of the match. In 12 overs they added 61 runs with a mixture of controlled aggression and good running between the wickets.
However, once van der Merwe was bowled by Peter Leggett for 43, the Ireland innings began to fall apart. Some poor shot selection in the face of accurate seam bowling from the Scottish attack, especially Aman Bailwal, saw Ireland subside to 98 for 7 with just four overs remaining. Some good striking by George Dockerell and Adam Coughlan enabled Ireland to reach 132 before the overs ran out.
Best of the Scottish bowlers were Bailwal, with four wickets for 30 and Sadler with two for 22 from six overs. The Scottish fielding was generally of a very high standard and supported the bowlers well throughout the Ireland innings.
Although Ireland may have been disappointed not to have made a greater total, it was nonetheless a competitive score on a wicket on which the ball did not come on to the bat and agressive shotmaking was not easy.
Tom McBride and Freddie Coleman gave their side the perfect start as they had few problems putting on 35 against the Irish seamers. However, when the Irish switched to spin the complexion of the innings soon changed. George Dockrell took a difficult return catch to remove Coleman and then McBride and Matthew Cross both fell at 47, the latter being bowled by Andrew McBrine and the latter being stumped by Ryan Hunter off Dockrell.
Bailwal and Anjan Luthra then steadied the Scotland innings in a well-compiled partnership of 51, employing the sweep shot to good effect against the off spin of McBrine and Coughlan. When Bailwal was caught by Ross Adair Scotland need 35 from 29 deliveries. At 120 Luthra was bowled by Graeme McCarter and 13 were required from just 8 deliveries.
However, Peter Ross and Samuel Page were up to the challenge and brought it down to 2 needed from the final delivery. A low full toss was dabbed out to deep square leg, where the fielder probably made the wrong decision in throwing to the bowler's end and the batsmen got home safely.
Tomorrow sees Scotland meet Denmark at Belmont whiel Ireland will hope to record their first victory when they meet Guernsey at Stormont.