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Joyce double ton headlines Ireland’s day

Batsman’s 231-run stand with Paul Stirling helps home side post 420 for 3 on Day 1 of four-day Intercontinental Cup tie against UAE

Joyce double ton headlines Ireland’s day - Cricket News
Ed Joyce scored a stunning double-century to dwarf Paul Stirling’s 146, both of which helped Ireland post a mammoth 420 for 3 in 94 overs.
Ireland, the defending champion and playing in familiar conditions in Malahide, was ruthless against the United Arab Emirates on the first day of its first-round Intercontinental Cup clash on Tuesday (June 2). Ed Joyce scored a stunning double-century to dwarf Paul Stirling’s 146, both of which helped Ireland post a mammoth 420 for 3 in 94 overs.
By the time the stumps were drawn, Joyce was unbeaten on a 223-ball 229 – a knock that included 29 fours and three sixes – and Ireland was in a commanding position, despite the brief spells of rain earlier in the day that had interrupted proceedings.
Ireland, four-time winners, will have added incentive for the campaign this year given that the winner of the tournament will be involved in a four-Test playoff against the tenth-ranked Test side in 2018. If the Associate side wins that series, it will become the 11th Test side.
UAE won the toss and elected to field before rain prompted a delayed start, and it broke a 58-run opening stand between William Porterfield and Stirling in the 21st over, Mohammad Naveed, the medium-pacer, prompting Porterfield to hit one straight to gully.

However, little else went UAE’s way thereafter. Stirling was joined by Joyce, and the two accelerated. Their stand spanned 46.5 overs and yielded 231 runs for the second wicket, a blistering partnership in which no bowler was spared. Stirling reached the three-figure mark off 147 balls, racing through the 90s with a couple of fours off Fayyaz Ahmed, the left-arm spinner.
Joyce was the more aggressive of the two. He hit Naveed for three consecutive fours and reached three figures off 135 balls, having hammered 11 fours and a six at that point. The two looked to carry on in similar vein, but the stand came to an untimely end, Stirling mistiming one off Fayyaz.

The wicket didn’t deter Joyce. He carried on with increased vigour, putting on 85 for the third wicket with Niall O’Brien, who ended with a 67-ball 13 – a figure that reflected the dominant nature of Joyce’s batting. The stand was broken when Mohammad Tauqir had O’Brien caught and bowled, but as long as Joyce was in the middle, UAE couldn’t stem the flow of runs.

Joyce went on to notch up his first double century off just 208 balls, but that didn’t quench his thirst for runs. In the three overs that remained in the day, he picked on Manjula Guruge, hitting seven fours off him, to further assert Ireland’s authority.

To see the full scorecard of this match, please click here.

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