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Cricket - O'Brien, Young get Ireland over the line

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Ireland batsman Niall O'Brien

Ireland batsman Niall O'Brien

AFP/Getty Images

Ireland batsman Niall O'Brien

NIALL O'BRIEN and Craig Young were the stars with bat and ball yesterday as Ireland recorded a three-wicket one-day international victory over Scotland to remain unbeaten in the Dubai tri-series.

Perhaps it was fitting that on international 'Kiss a Ginger Day' two of Ireland's flame-topped warriors should deliver a second win - with 21 balls to spare - that puts their team top of the table at the halfway stage of the mini-tournament.

Like Saturday's victory over Afghanistan, what looked a modest target of 217 was made much harder by the loss of early wickets, including William Porterfield and Ed Joyce.

O'Brien brought his steadying hand to proceedings with a perfectly paced innings of 80 not out from 106 balls, with two sixes among his five boundaries, and his seventh-wicket partnership of 61 with John Mooney took Ireland within 13 runs of victory.

Mooney fell for a breezy 36, leaving Alex Cusack to finish the job with O'Brien.

Young had done the early damage for Ireland with a three-wicket burst to reduce Scotland to 45-4. Matt Machin revived the innings with a careful 86 but Ireland's bowlers kept a grip on proceedings, backed up by a superb performance in the field.

Irish Independent