Ireland wins second successive close match, beating UAE by five runs in low-scoring thriller
Batting first, Ireland made 138 for 5, powered by Gary Wilson’s 53 not out off 44 balls. Three quick wickets at the start had seen Ireland slip from 30 for no loss to 42 for 3 in the seventh over, when Wilson associated with Kevin O’Brien. The duo rescued Ireland with a 92-run stand off 77 balls for the fourth wicket, with O’Brien contributing a run-a-ball 47.
Shadeep Silva, the left-arm spinner, had a good day in the field, taking the wickets of Paul Stirling and Niall O’Brien , and running out William Porterfield, the captain. Silva finished with figures of 2 for 23 off four overs, while Manjula Guruge, who opened the bowling, finished with 2 for 26 in three overs.
Chasing a small total, UAE seemed to be on track at 59 for 1 in the ninth over, but regular wickets thereafter stalled its progress. Khurram Khan, the captain, top-scored with 35 off 28 balls, while Rohan Mustafa’s unbeaten 27 (19 balls), including two boundaries and a six, proved to be insufficient as UAE was bowled out for 133 with one delivery to spare.
Max Sorensen was the pick of the bowlers for Ireland, with 2 for 17 off four economical overs. George Dockrell took 2 for 21 in three overs, while Tim Murtagh, Trent Johnston, Alex Cusack and Stirling took a wicket each.
This was Ireland’s second consecutive close win after its two-run triumph over Canada on Saturday. Porterfield agreed that the matches had been close, but said the positive was, his side came out on top. “Yes obviously, the last two games have been a bit tighter than we would have liked them to be, but two points is what we are thinking, and three wins in three games is what we wanted before the next session of matches after two days. We can now get rid of any niggles and sore bodies. So pretty pleasing to get these wins,” said Porterfield.
When asked if the conditions, affected by a sandstorm, caused a change in plans, Porterfield said, “The sandstorm proved to be a bit of a fight today, just in terms of the way we got sand in the eyes especially while batting there. But it was same for both the sides.
“I think it was the wind more than anything. It was biggest thing and It probably took us a couple of overs to take it on and score runs in midst of sand. It was such strong wind hitting us from the far end that you would be doing well to clear the ropes. So (the) guys had to score most of the runs hitting with the wind, I think that probably took 15 runs off from the par score. But I think 138 was just the par and we managed to defend it,” he said.
Ireland will now take on the United States of America on November 20.