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March 13, 2013
UAE 56 for 1 trail Ireland 589 for 7 dec. (Joyce 155, O'Brien 126) by 533 runs
Hundreds from Ed Joyce and Niall O'Brien put Ireland in control on the second day in Sharjah. They racked up their highest-ever total and a late wicket from Tim Murtagh capped off their excellent day.
Joyce and O'Brien resumed Ireland's excellent position and went on to add 181 for the third wicket as they dominated the day. The pace of Joyce's innings - 155 in 172 balls with 15 fours and two sixes - ensured UAE were kept on the back foot. O'Brien compiled a more sedate innings, his first century for Ireland since 208, but one of equal importance.
O'Brien was able to find another partner in wicketkeeper Gary Wilson. The pair added 126 at over four an over as Ireland pressed on with Wilson's 84.
The pace that Ireland scored at enabled them to declare and have a good go with the ball after tea. Tim Murtagh gave them a great start by trapping Safdar Niazi lbw before Arshad Ali and Khurram Khan saw UAE to the close with a lot of work to do to save the game.
O'Brien hopes his century is the start of a fruitful year: "I hope to have a big season after the ups and downs of last year but it's a nice way to start," he said. "The team is in a great position in this match and hope we can crack on, but it's going to be hard work.
"Tim Murtagh is a very good bowler, who has got great control, a like for like with Trent Johnston and he has hopefully three or four years ahead of him in Irish colours. Paul Stirling and George Dockrell can also do a job for us in the next couple of days. We have hard cricket ahead of us and hopefully we can get a victory on Friday"
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