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Sunday 20 April 2014

Sharif shines as Scotland struggle

Paul Stirling in action for Ireland

Safyaan Sharif again added a semblance of respectability to Scotland's batting against Ireland but the home side remain well on their way to an innings victory in their Intercontinental Cup clash in Dublin after Max Sorensen destroyed the Scots' top order.

Sorensen took four wickets for 32 runs as Scotland's second innings started as badly as their first at Clontarf.

Scotland were on 41 for six and struggling to see out the third day's play before Majid Haq and Sharif stopped the rot.

The Scots ended the day on 143 for eight - still 69 runs behind Ireland's first-innings total of 350 - and heading for defeat early on Saturday.

Ireland started in the morning on 99 for one after a rain-affected second day and both John Anderson (56) and Paul Stirling (65) knocked up half-centuries as the home side produced a consistent batting display.

But Haq and Moneeb Iqbal both took four wickets to allow Scotland back in with the bat.

That did not prove a pleasant experience for the visitors as Sorensen set about them. Hamish Gardiner followed his first-innings duck with a score of six, and his fellow opener Freddie Coleman experienced the ignominy of a no-score.

All together, the four Scots batsmen who fell to Sorensen only scored 10 runs, with Preston Mommsen and Calum MacLeod also victims of the South African-born medium-fast bowler.

But Sharif again top-scored for Scotland with a 60, adding to his first-innings total of 41, before being caught out by a fantastic full-length left-handed catch by Ireland captain William Porterfield.

That signalled stumps with Ireland set to quickly finish the job in the morning.

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