|Intercontinental Cup, Dubai (day two of four)|
|Ireland 251 & 186-5 : K O’Brien 78* (1st), Whittingham 3-23, Watt 3-60, Sole 3-79; Wilson 56 (2nd), Singh 34|
|Scotland 141: Munsey 38; Rankin 4-45, O’Brien 3-14, Murtagh 2-24|
|Ireland lead by 296 runs|
|Scorecard (external site)|
Ireland are in a dominant position in the Intercontinental Cup game against Scotland as their second-innings score of 186-5 pushed their lead to 296 runs.
The Scots started day two on 37-0 after bowling the Irish out for 251 on Wednesday but collapsed to 141 all out as Boyd Rankin took four wickets.
Gary Wilson’s 56 helped extend Ireland’s lead with Simi Singh (34) and Kevin O’Brien (13) both not out.
Scotland lost all their wickets for 86 runs after reaching 55-0 in Dubai.
George Munsey and Kyle Coetzer’s opening partnership looked to have put the Scots in control but they were dismissed in quick succession to leave them on 65-2 and that soon became 101-7 as wickets tumbled.
Scots collapse after Rankin breakthrough
Rankin made the initial breakthrough to dismiss Coetzer with O’Brien taking the catch and after also claiming the wickets of Matt Watt and Michael Leask, he then finished off the Scotland innings as Stuart Whittingham became his fourth victim.
O’Brien, after his crucial unbeaten 78 in Ireland’s first innings, also delivered with the ball as he dismissed Scotland’s top-scorer Munsey for 38 and later sent other top order batsmen Craig Wallace and Matthew Cross back to the pavilion with single-figure totals.
Safyaan Sharif ran out of partners as he was Scotland’s second best scorer on 26 not out.
Scotland’s paltry total gave Ireland a first-innings lead of 110 and while Paul Stirling (12) again departed cheaply, captain William Porterfield (29) and Andrew Balbirnie (21) put on 47 for the second wicket to strengthen their control of the contest.
Wilson reached his 50 as he and Singh put 63 runs for the fifth wicket and despite the wicketkeeper’s departure, the Irish ended day two in a very strong position.
Afghans on course to win Cup
Despite Ireland’s impressive second-day efforts, Afghanistan remain on course to clinch the Intercontinental Cup after maintaining their domination of the contest with the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi.
After starting day two on 321-3, the Afghans declared on 510-9 and the UAE were struggling on 100-5 in reply.
Afghanistan hold a 12-point lead over holders Ireland going into the final series of Intercontinental Cup games and will be guaranteed victory in the competition if they beat the UAE in Abu Dhabi after taking a first-innings lead.
Ireland, along with Afghanistan, were handed Test status by the International Cricket Council in June.
The Irish will make their Test debut against Pakistan at Malahide in county Dublin next May.