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Eimear Richardson leads Ireland to opening day win against Scotland

Ireland began the European World Cup qualifying competition in Stirling with a comfortable victory over Scotland by five wickets. Ireland had more than 13 overs to spare as they passed their target of 161.

Scotland were put in to bat and got off to a very slow start against accurate bowling by the Whelans, Heather and Jill. Catherine Smaill soon fell leg before to Heather and then two wickets fell in quick succession to leave Scotland 31 for three after 17 overs.

However, it was to be a long time before Ireland had any further success as the remainder of the Scottish innings belonged to skipper Kari Anderson, who made an unbeaten 86 from 148 balls. Her partnership with Kathryn White began slowly but gradually gained in momentum as they put on 103 before White (four boundaries) was bowled by Jill Whelan in the 46th over.

Anderson's innings included nine fours and the final total of 160 for five wickets had given her side a final tally that had, for a long period, seemed unlikely. Most economical of the Irish bowlers was Jill Whelan, whose ten overs conceded just 25 runs.

Ireland lost their first wicket at 15 when Delany was bowled by Leigh Kasperek. Isobel Joyce joined Eimear Richardson and they advanced the total to 36 int he 12th over before Joyce was caught by Tams. When the third wicket, that of Jill Whelan, fell at 62 in the 16th over the match seemed to be well-poised. However, Richardson had other ideas and she began to score freely all round the wicket. By the time she was dismissed in the 34th over, for a well-compiled 66 (including nine boundaries) her side was within 12 runs of victory.