Ireland v UAE, semi-final, Windhoek, 2nd day October 24, 2005

Bray hammers Ireland towards the final

Cricinfo staff

Ireland 350 for 7 dec and 306 for 1 (Bray 169*, O'Brien 118*) lead UAE 189 (Mohammad Taskeen 47, Johnston 5-33) by 467 runs

Jeremy Bray hits out on his way to 169 not out © ICC
Ireland virtually secured their place in the final of the Intercontinental Cup with an overwhelming display with bat and ball on day two of the semi-final at Windhoek. Ireland's captain Trent Johnston did the business with the ball and Jeremy Bray impressed with the bat as Ireland finised the day on 306 for 1 after UAE had been bowled out for 189 - a lead of 467.

Bray added to his first innings 78 with a thumping unbeaten 169 and shared in an undefeated second-wicket stand of 269 with Kent's Niall O'Brien. It was O'Brien's maiden first-class hundred and Bray's highest score. Bray was the more dominant of the pair, crashing 20 boundaries as the under-strength UAE attack wilted. Things got so desperate for them that wicketkeeper Mohammad Taskeen was the only man not called up to bowl.

Ireland look set to declare overnight to force a result, with UAE, on first innings form, unlikely to come anywhere near challenging the total.

Taskeen, unbeaten on 38 overnight, needed a big score if UAE were to recover from their score of 77 for 4. But when he fell to 18-year-old Greg Thompson on 47, UAE's hopes disappeared. Rameed Shahzad, batting at No. 5, added a mature 41 that defied his 17 years, but the tail was blown away by the pace of Ireland's Johnston, who picked up 5 for 33 - his his best first-class bowling figures. Last man Fahad Alhashmi's 21 from 27 balls added a touch of respectability to UAE's score, but 189 - and a deficit of 161 - was never going to be enough.