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March 9, 2008
Ireland 474 (Niall 174, Johnston 69, McCallan 52*, Saqib 3-84) and 64 for 1 (Porterfield 40*) beat UAE 228 (Zia 56, Raza 46) and 306 (Saqib 195, Cusack 3-19, McCallan 3-104) by nine wickets
Saqib Ali, the United Arab Emirates captain, rattled up 195 to boost his team's second-innings total to 306, but a target of 61 proved all too easy for Ireland on day four of their ICC Intercontinental Cup clash in Abu Dhabi.
Ireland duly knocked off the required runs with nine wickets in hand to gain 20 points from this game, which put them at second place in the tournament's points table.
Saqib, resuming the final morning on 98, brought up his fourth first-class hundred without fuss. Along with Zahid Shah, batting at No. 9, he continued to delay the inevitable. The two added a further 100 to UAE's overnight score of 186 for 7 before Greg Thompson, the legspinner, ended Zahid's 166-ball vigil. Zahid's 28 included four fours and a six, and he put on 159 runs for the eighth wicket with his captain.
Saqib, meanwhile, stood head and shoulders above his team-mates. He scored nearly 64% of UAE's total, moving past his previous first-class best of 142, but was cut agonisingly short of a maiden double-hundred. He fell to allrounder Alex Cusack, who took his fifth wicket of the match. Saqib's 195, compiled off 358 deliveries and with 24 fours and four sixes, won him the Man-of-the-Match award.
UAE batted out 62.2 overs on the fourth day, but Ireland's first-innings lead of 246 meant they needed only 61 to complete the win. William Porterfield made an unbeaten 40 as the defending champions sealed victory in 14.2 overs for the loss of one wicket.
Ireland now have 49 points and remain 17 behind Kenya, with one game in hand. Ireland's next match is not until July 9, against Netherlands at a to-be-announced venue. UAE's disappointing campaign will end with a match against Netherlands in Sharjah starting April 3.
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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