Stirling 50 on another damp day

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SCOTLAND were frustrated by Ireland’s openers and the weather as their hopes of a morale-boosting Intercontinental Cup win over their old rivals receded at 
Clontarf yesterday.

Only 21 overs were possible on another rain-hit day but that was sufficient for the Irish to move towards a first-innings lead.

Resuming on 35-0, William Porterfield and Paul Stirling had added another 14 before the Scots got their first breakthrough.

Porterfield had made fluent 30 with six fours when he was trapped lbw by Yorkshire’s Iain Wardlaw.

However, Paul Stirling, joined by John Anderson, guided Ireland to 99-1 – just 39 runs behind Scotland’s 138 – before rain set in.

Stirling’s unbeaten 50 came from 73 deliveries and included eight boundaries and allowed Anderson to play second fiddle with a painstaking 46-ball 17.

The loss of so much time has increased Scotland’s chances of escaping with a draw but, with two days remaining, the Irish, already through to the final, will aim to establish a big first-innings lead and bowl their rivals out for a second time.

There was a little more joy for Scotland’s Development XI, who restricted Gloucestershire’s second string to 165-9 in their 
second innings at Bristol.

The county had rattled-up 365-7 in their first knock before dismissing the Scots for 176. Debutant Ryan Brown of Largo was the pick of the bowlers with 3-19.