There was an 11 year wait for this win. In 1993 at Stratford-on-Avon Ireland beat Scotland fairly easily in the first Triple Crown match ever played. Since then there has been no win against Scotland in a fully played out competitive limited overs match. There was a win in the Zimbabwe Emerging Nations tournament of 2000 but it was by the Duckworth/Lewis method and it was a match which might well have been lost if fully played out.
Ireland were again unchanged but Scotland had problems. Gavin Hamilton was unavailable for the tournament while Butt and English had failed to obtain Visas for Holland. Scotland had already beaten Denmark but lost to Holland. Whoever won this match would probably finish runners up to ECB in the European Cup but be the leading European seeded team for next years ICC Trophy.
Scotland won the toss and batted on a lovely sunny day. The pitch appeared to be better than that for the three day match of the previous week but it was very slow paced. Watson held the Scottish innings together, only he and Patterson getting above 15. Scotland were 151 for 6 but got another 50 in the last six overs without further loss. In reply after an opening stand of 81 Ireland had only one setback when both the second and third wickets fell at 93. An 87 run stand by White and Gillespie eventually saw Ireland home with three overs to spare.
The experienced Patterson and Maiden (whose late order innings beat Ireland in a Triple Crown match in 2001) opened for Scotland and had no great problems with Johnston and Shoukat's bowling. Patterson gave Molins a most difficult chance to deep gully when six and the total 12 off Shoukat. The first four came in over 8 and another followed in over 12, both to Patterson. Botha came on and then Cooke (over 14). The latter's fourth ball bowled Maiden who tried to pull a ball which was much too well pitched up. 44-1-13. The Scottish wicket-keeper (Smith) came in at number three and was run out in Botha's next over. A leg bye went down to Shoukat at backward square. Smith called a rather daft second run and failed to beat Shoukat's throw. 50-2-3.
Watson came in and the run rate improved. He snicked a four off Botha and took 12 off Botha's next over including a six over long-off. Patterson followed this with two fours in the next over (Cooke). Scoring slowed again but the running of singles was very good. In 20 overs the score was 76 and at the half way (25 overs) mark was 84. Mooney and McCallan were tried and by the end of over 30 Scotland were exactly 100 for 2. This indicated a 50 over score of 200 and maybe more if wickets were not lost. Then three wickets fell in six overs for 22 runs. With the first ball of the 31st over (Mooney) there was another run out. Patterson hit to deep gully and ran. White's direct hit throw beat him to the bowler's end. 100-3-40. Patterson faced 93 balls. Watts joined Watson but was out in over 33. White replaced Mooney and bowled Watts with his third ball as Watts pushed forward. 116-4-7. Rigby, who lives in Dublin and plays for Clontarf, came next. He was lbw to the first ball of White's third over. 122-5-1. The captain, CM Wright, was next. He and Watson steadied the innings but the score was only 130 after 40 overs - 46 runs scored in the last 15 overs and 30 in the last 10.
McCallan replaced Cooke for over 36 and bowled very tightly until, in over 44, Wright hit a six over wide mid-wicket and in the same over there may have been a dropped catch by wicket-keeper Ogilby. Then White took his third wicket with the second ball of the 45th over. Wright was caught at long-off by Joyce, who was fielding sub for Botha. 151-6-8. Williamson came in with 34 balls left. He and Watson (the six had taken him to 50 off 87 balls) put on 49 and gave their bowlers something to bowl at. Only one run came in over 45 to make the score 151. In over 46 the score increased to 155. Then in four overs (White and Cooke) 45 runs were scored. 11 came in over 47 including a Watson six over long-on. Cooke came back for over 48 and gave up 14 runs, 11 of them to Watson including another six over long-on. White's next over cost 10 and Williamson joined the six hitting - a straight one.
10 more came in the last over leaving Watson 88 not out from 100 balls with 3x6 and 5x4. His last 50 runs came from 40 balls and it was a valuable and very fine innings. In the entire Scottish innings four sixes and 10 fours (64 runs) came in boundaries but the lush outfield was very slow. None of the seven Irish bowlers was expensive. Only McCallan bowled 10 overs (for 34 runs). Only four wickets fell to bowlers and White took three of these for 38 in nine overs.
Ireland started at 3.01 p.m. with Molins and Bray to the bowling of Hoffman and Nel. The first over to Molins was a maiden. Then, in three overs from Nel, Bray hit four fours - his first scoring strokes. Molins then hit two fours and had a narrow run out escape. Bray hit two more fours in Hoffman's fifth and last over. Wright, a medium pacer with a slinging action, came on for over eight. In his second over Molins hit him for six over wide mid-wicket off the back foot. Bray hit two more fours, the second of which brought up 52 in over 12. After 15 overs the score was 70, Molins 31 (with four fours), Bray 38 (nine fours). Off spinner Maiden came on with another off spinner, Watson, as his partner. Two maidens were actually bowled at Bray but Molins hit two more fours in Maiden's second over. Now 15 fours had been hit in 18 overs and 79 runs. The twenty over score was 81, the correct rate to win the match. Next ball (Watson) Bray was out caught at the wicket trying to dab to third man. 81-1-39. He faced 62 balls and scored his runs by way of nine fours and three singles.
Botha came in and hit Watson for a six to wide long-on in over 23. Three balls later he was caught two handed high at short mid-wicket. 93-2-6. Williamson, fast medium, came on for over 24. His first ball clean bowled Molins. He played a terrible pull shot to a ball much too far up. 93-3-47. He faced 66 balls with a six and seven fours. Gillespie joined White and scoring slowed but no for long. The 25 over score was 98 and 113 in 30 overs. Scotland switched bowlers a lot in this period but to no avail. White hit two fours in a Maiden over and two more in a Hoffman over. 150 was up in over 35 and Gillespie hit two fours in Hoffman's next over, which also include a four to White and cost 13. Stanger was tried for over 38 which cost 11, including Gillespie being caught off a no ball. The second ball of Watson's next over (39th) saw the end of the 87 run partnership scored off 94 balls. Gillespie hit a full toss straight to deep mid-on. 180-4-32. McCallan was next. He faced 18 balls to White's six as they put on 14 before White was out in over 43. It was most unnecessary. He rushed down the pitch, missed and was stumped. 194-5-43. He hit six fours in 55 balls.
Johnston was obviously sent out and told that no more wickets must fall (to protect the run rate should it apply to decide the cup winner). Johnston scored two in 14 balls while McCallan gathered seven in 15 balls, the match being won with a four. The win was a new experience for all 11 Irish players. Scotland's seven bowlers were not expensive. Watson and Maiden were the only two to bowl 10 overs. Watson had 3 for 32 and Maiden 1 for 44.