UAE v Ireland, Intercontinental Cup, Sharjah, 3rd day March 14, 2013

Dockrell, Mooney put Ireland on top

ESPNcricinfo staff

UAE 302 for 6 (Khurram 115, Arshad 95) trail Ireland 589 for 7 by 287 runs

Two wickets each for George Dockrell and John Mooney helped Ireland took the initiative on day three and had UAE battling to avoid the follow-on. Ireland responded to a big second-wicket partnership to remove 5 for 38 to take a firm hold of the match.

UAE initially began strongly on a pitch that saw Ireland rack up their record score on the opening two days. Captain Khurram Khan led the response with 115 and shared a stand of 187 with opener Arshad Ali. But when he became Dockrell's first wicket, caught behind for 95, UAE began to slide.

With his next delivery Dockrell trapped Shaiman Anwar lbw before Mooney gained leg before decisions in consecutive overs with UAE adding only a run.

At 248 for 6, UAE were staring down the barrel at the follow-on but wicketkeeper Swapnil Patil and Saqib Shah shared a half-century stand to take their side to the close and raise their chances of saving the match with only one day remaining.

"It was of course very pleasing to get a few wickets but to be honest I'm just happy to be back playing having been out since July," Mooney said. "It was great to get those five wickets in the final session and a real team effort.

"It was a tough slog out there. I think we got our reward for sticking with it pretty much all day, except for a sloppy 30 minutes before tea. Simmo [coach Phil Simmons] gave us a reminder at the interval of what we should be doing and things changed quickly. We were helped by the fact that we had a new ball and also getting the breakthrough with the dismissal of Khurram. He's a good player so getting rid of him was massive for us.

"The ball did reverse earlier on today but the two batters were set and played really well. We'll be hoping to get the four remaining wickets as early as possible and send them back in. The pitch is very flat and getting the wickets we need for the win is going to be very difficult."