Murtagh's late blows sink Scotland’s hopes at Stormont

Lower order save Ireland in dramatic finish to World Cup qualifier

Ireland skipper William Porterfield celebrates his half-century during the World Cup qualifier against Scotland at Stormont. Photograph:   Rowland White/Inpho/Presseye

Ireland skipper William Porterfield celebrates his half-century during the World Cup qualifier against Scotland at Stormont. Photograph: Rowland White/Inpho/Presseye


Tim Murtagh’s bat helped Ireland claim a thrilling one-wicket victory over Scotland at Stormont yesterday to end the visitors’ hopes of automatic qualification for the 2015 World Cup.

Needing two wins from the two World Cricket League encounters, Ireland looked set to lose their unbeaten home ODI record against fellow associates when they were reduced to 146 for seven chasing 224 for victory.

Ireland’s depth in batting saw them home, with Trent Johnston (24), Max Sorensen (31) and an unbeaten 23 from Murtagh getting them over the line with a ball to spare.

Murtagh has earned the nickname as the Lambeth Lara from his time at Middlesex and with Ireland needing 12 off the last over from their final pairing he lived up to the billing.

Three singles came off the first three balls, with George Dockrell getting Murtagh back on strike. He then launched Rob Taylor into the sightscreen for Ireland’s only six before hitting the next ball through point for the winning boundary.

Ireland had earlier looked set for an easy victory after openers William Porterfield and Paul Stirling put on 95 for the first wicket.

Stirling was first to go for 30 and Porterfield lost out on a chance to make it two centuries in four days when he departed soon after for 62. Ireland’s middle order then failed but the tail wagged in spectacular fashion in yet another thrilling run of finishes that have seen Ireland tie two games over the summer.

Eddie Richardson was handed his Ireland debut in place of his first cousin John Mooney, who will miss the end of the season with a hamstring injury.

After bowling well for no reward on his ODI debut against England, Sorensen was the pick of the seam attack with two wickets for 37, while spinner George Dockrell had a much more profitable outing, taking four for 24, with only Scottish skipper Preston Mommsen making a score as he finished unbeaten on 91.

Scotland will still have a chance to make it to the 2015 World Cup with two further places on offer through a qualifier in New Zealand early next year.

The two sides meet again in Belfast on Sunday.

(at Stormont, Belfast): Scotland won the toss and fielded.

H Gardiner
c Dockrell b Murtagh 6
F Coleman
b Sorensen 10
M Machan
b Sorensen 27
P Mommsen
not out 91
C MacLeod
b Dockrell 21
R Taylor
c K O’Brien b Stirling 11
R Berrington
c Sorensen b Dockrell 7
D Murphy
st Wilson b Dockrell 2
M Haq
lbw b Dockrell 0
S Sherarif
run out (Porterfield) 26
I Wardlaw
not out 7
(b1, lb1, w13) 15
(for 9 wkts, 50 ovs) 223
Fall of wickets:
1-15, 2-36, 3-56, 4-116, 5-135, 6-161, 7-165, 8-165, 9-209.
T Murtagh 10-1-47-1; T Johnston 9-0-60-0; M Sorensen 10-1-37-2; P Stirling 4-0-20-1; E Richardson 3-0-15-0; G Dockrell 10-2-24-4; K O’Brien 4-0-18-0.
W Porterfield
c MacLeod b Wardlaw 62
P Stirling
c Mommsen b Haq 30
E Joyce
st Murphy b Haq 11
N O’Brien
c Murphy b MacLeod 10
G Wilson
c Murphy b Haq 2
K O’Brien
c Murphy b Taylor 3
T Johnston
c Mommsen b Wardlaw 24
E Richardson
c Machan b Wardlaw 12
M Sorensen
st Murphy b Machan 31
T Murtagh
not out 23
G Dockrell
not out 4
(b4, lb2, w7) 13
(for 9 wkts, 49.5 ovs) 225
Fall of wickets:
1-95, 2-98, 3-114, 4-120, 5-129, 6-131, 7-146, 8-180, 9-209.
I Wardlaw 10-0-48-2; S Sharif 10-0-49-1; R Taylor 9.5-0-63-1; M Haq 10-1-26-3; C MacLeod 6-1-18-1; M Machan 4-0-15-1.
Ireland won by 1 wkt.