Scots beat Irish Universities twice in a day
Scottish Student Cricket Media
Scottish Students produced another stirring display of cricket on Wednesday, defeating Irish Universities in two T20 matches and taking an unassailable lead in the Celtic Cup in association with GilmourSports.com. After Tuesday’s comfortable victory, the pressure was on the Scots to maintain their performance against an Irish team seemingly more suited to the shorter version of the game.
After losing the toss and being asked to bowl first, the Scottish Students hit their stride after an uncharacteristically wayward first over by yesterday’s bowling hero Ed Abel-Smith. Their fielding was of the highest order, characterised by a brilliant piece of fielding by Aman Bailwal, stopping the ball and throwing down the stumps at the non-striker’s end in one felled swoop, ensuring the dismissal of the dangerous left hander D’Arcy. The Scots tightened the noose with the Irish run rate barely hitting four an over. The two left arm spinners Andrew Brock and Stephen Ross bowled effectively in the middle overs picking up a combined 4-27 from their 8 overs. The combination of this tight bowling and some sharp fielding ensured the Irish total was a disappointing 81-8.
Opening pair Fraser Burnett and Josh Edwards set about making short work of the low total set by the Irish Universities batsmen. Some loose bowling by the Irish allowed Burnett to hit his stride quickly, hitting two early sixes as well as a 4 in his 45 not out. Edwards also progressed serenely to 23 before he was harshly adjudged LBW from the off spin of Waqar Ul-Hasan. Chris Burns, playing his first game of the series, strode to the crease to finish another comfortable victory, the winning runs coming in just the 11th over.
The second game also saw the Irish Universities captain Danny Graham winning the toss and electing to bat on what was an excellent surface to bat on. The innings followed a similar vein to the first game with Bailwal and Stinson picking up an early wicket each. Stinson had been rested in the first t20 and came in to the Xi in place of tall paceman Abel-Smith. Queens University’s Danny Graham and D.I.T.’s Adrian D’Arcy scored 27 for the third wicket, raising hopes of the Irish posting a competitive total. However, Graham’s dismissal, bowled by the impressive Stephen Ross (2-14 from 4 overs), led to the innings losing momentum. Further strikes by captain Andrew Brock and Josh Edwards, who removed D’Arcy in the last over for 40, meant the Irish innings stuttered to 86 for 7, only marginally better than their previous effort.
The new opening pair of Chris Burns and Tom McBride got off to a roaring start, taking 12 from the opening over. After hitting some glorious shots, including a massive six over midwicket, McBride was bowled attempting an audacious reverse sweep. A mixture of relatively tight bowling and some loose shots meant the Scots did not make easy work of the chase. Baum and Bailwal were bowled by Ali Graham for 12 and 0 respectively, whilst Starkey fell LBW to Gilmour for just 5. When Chris Burns was bowled by Waqar Ul Hasan for 7, the scorecard read a precarious 44-5. The danger of an upset was quickly dismissed though by Kneale and Edwards who joined forces for an unbeaten 42-run stand; both batsman continuing their excellent form from the previous day ending with 14 and 23 not out.
The two victories today made it three wins out of three for the Scottish Students and they will inevitably be eager to complete a clean sweep in the final game tomorrow; a second 50 over affair. The Irish on the other hand will be looking to save face having been thoroughly outplayed in the previous three fixtures. With Irish reinforcement s landing in Dublin on Wednesday night, a competitive fixture could well be on the cards.