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Match Report

Ireland prove too strong for Scotland

A thunderstorm accompanied by torrential rain brought a premature and dramatic end to the cricket on Thursday, but not before Ireland had played themselves into a strong winning position against Scotland.

Ireland's 90-run victory under the Duckworth/Lewis system was a fair reflection of their superiority, and gave them an outside chance of retaining their European 50-over title - but only if the Scots bounce back from this defeat to surprise hosts the Netherlands in Friday's final game.

Scotland again got away to a great start after inserting their opponents, with Emma Flanagan bowled by Kathryn White in the first over and Amy Kenealy run out by a quick return from Samantha Haggo shortly afterwards, but thereafter a solid performance from the strong Irish batting line-up saw them reach an imposing 241 for six, and there was to be no repeat of Monday's Scottish victory in the Twenty20 series.

Skipper Isobel Joyce led the way with a splendid innings of 85, made from 91 deliveries with six boundaries - more than Ireland and the Netherlands had managed between them the previous day - and by the time she was fifth out, stumped off the bowling of Sahar Aslam, the total had reached 164.

Then Kim Garth, dropped down to number six, took over, making 48 not out and demonstrating her considerable potential with the bat, especially in the closing overs. She received good support from Shauna Kavanagh and Mary Waldron, putting on 41 for the seventh wicket with the latter in just seven overs.

The Scottish bowlers all came in for some punishment, at least by the standards of this tournament, with White the most economical with one for 32 from her ten overs. The other wickets were claimed by Leigh Kasperek, Aslam and Kari Anderson.

Scotland, too, lost two early wickets, but then Anderson and Kasperek began a spirited fightback against a probing Irish attack.

Rain was not far away, and Kasperek's dismissal, bowled by Louise McCarthy for 24 to make the total 51 for three after 15.5 overs, was immediately followed by the first interruption. Play continued after 24 minutes, and Scotland lost three further wickets, with only Anderson standing firm.

After 34 overs the score was 113 for six, with Anderson on 36 and Scotland 59 runs behind on the D/L calculation. This time 34 minutes were lost, and when the players returned to the field the gathering storm clouds suggested that it would not be for long.

There had still been no reduction in the overs, but the Scottish situation worsened considerably with two further run-outs, and by the time the deteriorating weather and light drove the players off for what proved to be the final time the deficit had risen to 90.

Anderson was still there, on 43, but her battle had become a solitary one, and there was no doubt that Ireland were firmly in control. Garth's seven overs had cost just 12 runs with one wicket, while Laura Delany had one for 20 from six overs, Kavanagh one for 13 from four and McCarthy one for 35 from nine.