Published On: Sun, Mar 18th, 2018

Balbirnie's century keeps Ireland's World Cup hopes alive

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The Ireland batsman struck his second ODI ton to lead his team to 271 for 9 on a slow pitch

Ireland 271 for 9 (Balbirnie 105, Niall O’Brien 70, Wheal 3-43, Safyaan 2-52) beat Scotland 246 (Coetzer 61, Berrington 44, Rankin 4-63, Simi Singh 2-33) by 25 runs

Ireland kept their World Cup hopes alive with a 25-run victory over Scotland at Harare Sports Club. Put in by Scotland under grey, leaden skies, Ireland were carried to 271 for 9 by Niall O’Brien and Andy Balbirnie, who shared a 138-run third-wicket partnership, with Balbirnie going on to register his second one-day international century.

On a pitch that offered decent pace and bounce, and played true throughout the day, Scotland had every chance of chasing down the runs, especially during Kyle Coetzer’s early assault. Coetzer was particularly severe on Boyd Rankin, but the Irish seamer overcame a difficult start to take 4 for 63, securing the victory as the clouds parted and the ground was bathed in afternoon sunshine.

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