There are now five places in the world rankings between Ireland and Scotland but it looked more like 25 in the first one-day international between the teams in Aberdeen. The margin of victory was 96 runs in favour of the No 1 team below Test level, but it could and should have been even wider as Ireland outclassed their Associate neighbours for most of this one-sided match.
Captain William Porterfield, who brought his runs tally for the week to 245 - after scores of 118 and 77 in the Intercontinental Cup match at the same ground last week - with another 50, believed the total of 205 for nine was a winning one but "it could have been bigger".
Despite the early loss of Gary Wilson and Paul Stirling - at least one of whom will lose his place to accommodate Niall O'Brien at Stormont on Thursday - Porterfield and Andre Botha took Ireland to 101 for two in the 24th over. But, in the space of 25 balls, they lost three wickets for two runs, including the skipper run out. John Mooney and Andrew White dug in, perhaps a little too literally and their sixth wicket stand of 36 used up 13 overs, Mooney taking 19 balls to get off the mark. It was Regan West who eventually hurried Ireland past 200 with four boundaries in his 19-ball 24 but there should never have been any danger of this Ireland team being bowled out. Kyle McCallan, in his 225th international, was batting at No 11 for the first time. Trent Johnston, in his 99th game for Ireland, once again opened the bowling but he was overshadowed by Alex Cusack at the other end. In five overs, Cusack conceded just three singles and he was backed up by Kevin O'Brien and Andre Botha, the latter bowling his first overs in an ODI for 10 months.
So accurate with the four pace men that by the time spin was introduced in the 19th over, Scotland were chronically behind the over-rate at 37 for two and it hardly increased as Regan West and Kyle McCallan shared the next 14 overs. West finished as the most successful bowler, with four for 26, McCallan had to make do with one wicket and Andrew White, Ireland's seventh bowler, also deservedly picked up one, the over after Drummond was dropped by McCallan.
With Boyd Rankin, possibly, to come in, Ireland could this week not only be fielding their strongest ever bowling line-up but possibly their greatest ever team.
The second match in this 2 match sereies on 23 August was abandoned without a ball being bowled.
- Scotland celebrate a wicket for spin bowler Majid Haq
- Marc Petrie appeals successfully for the run out of Ireland captain William Porterfield
- Majid Haq bowling watched by umpire Ian Ramage
- Kevin O'Brien catches Scotland opening bat Fraser Watts
- Irelands Regan West bowling
- Ireland celebrate a Scotland wicket