Ireland coast to 124-run victory over ACT Comets

Niall O'Brien's 88 was the highest score of the match
Niall O'Brien's 88 was the highest score of the match at the Manuka Oval
Tour match, Manuka Oval, Canberra:
Ireland 302-8 (50 overs) beat ACT Comets 178 (40 overs) by 124 runs
Match scorecard (external site)external-link

Ireland chalked up their first win of their tour in Australia and New Zealand by beating the ACT Comets on Tuesday.

Leicestershire wicketkeeper Niall Brien scored 88 off 79 balls as Ireland reached 302-8 in their 50 overs.

The Australian Capital Territories side were well behind the needed run-rate and were out for 178, Craig Young and Peter Chase each taking three wickets.

Ireland lost heavily to Queensland in their first two matches of the tour and play the ACT Comets again on Thursday.

The Irish are preparing for next year's World Cup, which includes a match against South Africa at the Manuka Oval on 3 March.

Ireland tour fixtures
30 September: v Queensland Bulls - lost by 230 runs
2 October: v Queensland Bulls - lost by 151 runs
7 October: v Comets/NSW 2nd XI - won by 124 runs
9 October: v Comets/NSW 2nd XI, Manuka Oval, Canberra
16 October: v Northern Districts, Seddon Park, Hamilton
18 October: v New Zealand XI, Seddon Park, Hamilton
21 October: v Canterbury, Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln
23 October: v Otago, Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln

O'Brien shared in a sixth-wicket stand of 83 in just 51 balls with Andrew Poynter (34), striking 11 fours and a six in his 77-ball innings.

He was one of four changes to the Ireland side, with skipper William Porterfield, Gary Wilson and John Mooney all returning to bolster the batting.

Porterfield (23) and Andrew Balbirnie (20) shared an opening stand of 51 before both departed in quick succession. Stuart Thompson (9) went cheaply before O'Brien and Wilson (19) added a solid 42 for the fourth wicket.

Wilson's run out saw Niall O'Brien joined by his brother Kevin, who struck four boundaries in a breezy 22. His dismissal saw the game evenly poised at 151-5 before the match-defining sixth-wicket stand.

Mooney provided the late fireworks, hitting an unbeaten 41 from 20 balls as he and Craig Young (11 not out) took 54 off the last four overs to take the Irish to an imposing 302-8.

Daniel Hughes (24) and Matthew Condon (18) got the Comets reply off to a solid start with an opening stand of 38, but once Chase (3-39) removed both, Ireland were in control.

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