A battling half century from Scotland’s Michael Leask could do nothing to prevent Ireland winning the first One Day International in Dublin.
Craig Young was the star man, taking five scalps as Ireland eased to a seven-wicket win. The 24-year-old medium-pacer helped limit the tourists at The Village in Malahide to 172 runs with five for 46 on their way to being bowled out with nine overs remaining.
Ireland comfortably beat that total when Kevin O’Brien’s unbeaten 56 saw them home on 173 for three.
Scotland got off to a disappointing start by losing Matty Cross for nine runs after he edged Max Sorensen’s delivery to wicket-keeper Stuart Poynter. Young then took Calum MacLeod (25) and Hamish Gardiner (10) in quick succession. And when he clean bowled Preston Mommsen (ten) it left the visitors in real trouble at 62 for four.
Leask offered some resistance as he finished off a tidy 50 but when he and Safyaan Sharif (18) also fell to Young, Scotland’s hopes of posting a more challenging tally were done for.
The Irish got off to a steady start in reply and took their time building their response.
They had scored just 11 runs when Iain Wardlaw took Scotland’s first wicket as John Anderson was trapped lbw, but the hosts stepped things up after lunch.
The 39-run partnership between Andrew Balbirnie (38) and Andrew Poynter (16) put them in control before the latter was caught by Cross with Ireland just shy of the 50-mark.
But that only marked O’Brien’s arrival and his 56 not-out was the catalyst for victory, with the Surrey batsman flicking home two runs at the end to confirm the win with 13 overs remaining.
The teams meet again tomorrow before Friday’s final ODI.