It’s advantage Scotland after the first of the T20 International series at Bready saw the visitors record a six-wicket win over Kevin O’Brien’s Ireland team last night.
New head coach John Bracewell gave debuts to Tyrone Kane and David Rankin ahead of the first International in the North West for more than a decade – Rankin’s inclusion bringing the number of local players in the team to an unprecedented five.
The big Bready opener made the most of his opportunity too- top scoring with 33 (2 fours and a six) as Ireland made 146-5 in their 20 overs.
Skipper O’Brien with 30, Stuart Thompson (26*) and Max Sorensen (23*) all chipped in with the bat while Michael Leask (2-23) and Saffyan Sharif (2-31) fared best with the ball for the Scots.
It looked a modest total if truth be told and the hosts seemed a little more exposed than usual without those key, top-order regulars. As if to prove the point the visitors came flying out of the traps when it came their turn to bat.
Ireland’s attack was unable to stem the flow of runs as Preston Mommsen’s team began positively. They did get a fairly early breakthrough when Max Sorensen removed George Munsey for 12 but it was all Scotland after that.
Matthew Cross and Kyle Coetzer proved a lot more troublesome to shift with Cross in particularly dominant form. The keeper/batsman raced to his 50 from just 27 balls and from there on it was only a matter of how far.
Tyrone Kane will long remember his first over as a full International as he removed Cross (60- 10 fours and a six), Coetzer (19) and Leask (0) in the space of 6 balls, but it wasn’t to be enough.
Craig Wallace (26*) and Richie Berrington (24*) posted an unbroken half century stand as Scotland won with tons in hand- Kane’s 3-27 the pick of a disappointing show with the ball from Ireland.
A crowd in the region of 700 were there to see the International game return to the North West and although most of them will have gone home disappointed, another big attendance is expected tonight (5.30pm) to see the second instalment.
At Bready,IRELAND 146/5 (20 overs, D Rankin 33, K O’Brien 30, S Thompson 26*, M Sorensen 23*, M Leask/23, S Sharif 2/31)SCOTLAND 150/4 (17.1 overs, M Cross 60, C Wallace 26*, R Berrington 24*, T Kane 3-27). SCOTLAND WON BY SIX WICKETS