Ireland beat Scotland to keep hopes alive

(BBC) Ireland are still in with a chance of making the World Cup after defeating in-form Scotland by 25 runs in the Super Sixes in Harare yesterday.

Andrew Balbirnie’s 105 and a 70 from Niall O’Brien helped the Irish to an impressive total of 271-9.

The Scots were unbeaten in the qualifiers but they were bowled out for 246 in 47.4 overs.

Scotland stay second in the Super Sixes standings and a point ahead of Ireland with one game remaining.

It was a must-win game for Ireland and the 138-run partnership between Balbirnie and Niall O’Brien was key to the victory.

Kevin O’Brien added a valuable 46 in 35 balls while Brad Wheal was the best of the Scots bowlers with 3-43.

Scotland opener and captain Coetzer hit 61 but his team collapsed after he was bowled by Boyd Rankin to leave it 112-3.

Knocks from Richard Berrington (44) and Sharif (34) gave the Scots hope but they fell short with paceman Rankin taking 4-63.

A win over Afghanistan on Friday may not be enough for the Irish while Scotland go up against the West Indies two days earlier, knowing a win will see them take one of the two qualifying places.

“I didn’t have to say a lot to the team – we knew we had to turn up and get the two points to stay in the running,” said Ireland captain William Porterfield.

“Going into the next match, we obviously need some results to go our way during the week, and if that’s in place then we’ve got to be ready come Friday.”

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