Richie Berrington century in vain for Scotland

RICHIE Berrington produced one of the best ever innings by a Scotland batsman yesterday – but he was in no mood to celebrate his century after his team suffered another clear-cut defeat at the hands of Ireland.

2nd One Day International, Malahide Cricket Club, Malahide, Co. Dublin 10/9/2014
Ireland vs Scotland
Scotland's Calum MacLeod is bowled by Craig Young of Ireland
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Presseye/Rowland White
2nd One Day International, Malahide Cricket Club, Malahide, Co. Dublin 10/9/2014 Ireland vs Scotland Scotland's Calum MacLeod is bowled by Craig Young of Ireland Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Presseye/Rowland White

The effort of the Clydesdale man, an unbeaten 101, wasn’t enough to halt the momentum of the hosts, who surged to a winning 2-0 lead in the three-match one-day international series at Malahide.

And if it wasn’t for the enterprise and grit of Berrington, the margin could have been embarrassing for the Scots.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Now coach Grant Bradburn will challenge his men to salvage some pride in the final contest tomorrow.

Replying to Scotland’s 221, Ireland shook off a dose of the mid-innings jitters to reach their goal with three wickets and more than five overs to spare.

The backbone of the chase was the experienced World Cup campaigner Kevin O’Brien, who struck a brisk 67.

His departure signalled a slump which yielded three more scalps in quick succession, however Jon Mooney and Max Sorensen finished the job.

Earlier, the Scots had plunged into immediate deep trouble after host skipper O’Brien won the toss and had no hesitation in launching his attack.

With only the third delivery of the encounter, Matthew Cross was trapped in front by Sorensen – and even worse was to come six balls later as Calum MacLeod saw his stumps demolished by Craig Young.

The capitulation threatened to take on crisis proportions when captain Preston Mommsen became Sorensen’s second victim, leaving the visitors teetering on 11 for three.

Hamish Gardiner and Berrington halted the rot in watchful fashion, until the former was snapped up by wicketkeeper Stuart Poynter off the accurate Sorensen.

The Poynter-Sorensen double act struck again with the tally on 48 to get rid of Freddie Coleman cheaply.

That was the cue for Josh Davey to launch the most stubborn and productive partnership of the innings in tandem with the determined Berrington. They added 84 in a shade over 21 overs to not only blunt the Irish attack, but provide the belated foundations for a competitive total.

Davey perished for 40, pouched by Stuart Thompson off Young and as Berrington tried to step up the tempo, Michael Leask and Majid Haq came and went for ten and seven respectively. At 180 for seven, the ability of Scotland to set a target in excess of 200 was looking in grave doubt.

However, Ally Evans dug deep to provide Berrington with stout support before he departed for 22.

Ian Wardlaw survived long enough to enable the mainstay-man to reach his superb century, which featured eight fours and a six in the 126-ball vigil.

Afterwards, Berrington admitted that the glory of his maiden ODI century had been snuffed out by the result. He said: “We didn’t get enough runs on the board, though at least we showed a lot of fight and made it a contest.

“We can definitely take something out of this performance, going into the last match of the series. Our problems are not major and I am sure we can address them before Friday.

“It was disappointing to lose so many wickets in the first ten overs, but the Irish bowlers were very good up front.”