Rankin lifts Ireland ahead of Dutch test
Boyd Rankin took five wickets yesterday in Bulawayo and then came to Ireland's rescue with the bat as the Boys in Green squeezed to a two-wicket victory over Scotland off the last ball of their final warm-up match ahead of the World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe.
If it had been an official game, Rankin's figures of 5-38 would have been his best for Ireland but instead he had to settle for the reward of dismissing Scotland for 239, a total that tantalisingly seemed to keep its distance from the chasing bats - despite a fine 79 from Andy Balbirnie.
George Dockrell eventually got Ireland over the line, striking a boundary with the scores level to finish on 47 not out, but it was Rankin's successive fours from the first balls he faced in the penultimate over that made sure his earlier good work didn't go to waste.
The squad now travel to Harare where they will meet the Netherlands on Sunday, followed by group games against Papua New Guinea, the West Indies and the United Arab Emirates in a 10-team tournament that will produce the final two participants in next year's World Cup.