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Irish Independent

Scotland pummel Ireland despite record stand

KEVIN O'BRIEN and Paul Stirling shared a record stand for Ireland in T20 internationals in Muscat but it wasn't enough to stop Scotland easing to a six-wicket victory that leaves the old rivals level on one win each after two games of the quadrangular tournament.

The new opening pairing got Ireland off to a flyer, adding 115 from only 70 balls - a T20i best for any wicket for Ireland - but the middle of the innings stalled after O'Brien was caught at long off for 65 from 38 balls, including four sixes. It was the veteran's highest T20i score for the Boys in Green.

Stirling fell for 56 from 42 balls, with two maximums, as only 27 runs were added in six overs before Shane Getkate and George Dockrell helped pile on 40 from the final 17 balls and lift Ireland to a healthy looking 180-7.

If O'Brien and Stirling's start was rapid, Scotland made it look pedestrian as they raced to 81-0 in the six powerplay overs and despite another promising set of four overs from Pembroke seamer Josh Little and two wickets for Getkate, the Saltires were able to cruise in with nine balls to spare.

"The score was a little below par,” captain Stirling said. ”We were positioned to get 220-plus, so 180 was disappointing after that start. Big improvements are needed in those overs from 13 to 17, we weren't good enough at rotating the strike and finding boundaries. That's what cost us."

Ireland can still finish top of the ladder on nett run-rate if they beat the Netherlands convincingly in their final game tomorrow (SUN) but the Dutch will be favourites after beating hosts Oman to record a second win.

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