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March 14, 2008
Ireland 199 for 4 (Strydom 73, Morgan 57*, Phillips 3-25) beat Essex 196 for 8 (Pettini 84, Botha 4-36) by six wickets
Ireland's good form in the UAE continued as they beat Essex by six wickets in their final warm-up game at theSheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi before heading to Bangladesh where they will play three ODIs.
Preparations ahead of the game were delayed - due to prayers on the holy day of the Islamic week in the UAE - that resulted in 10 overs being lost as both sides agreed to a 35 over, 12-a-side fixture, with Ireland leaving out the unwell Phil Eaglestone, the injured Alex Cusack (groin), and Gary Kidd.
Batting first, Essex openers Mark Pettini and Jason Gallian got off to a solid start, adding 53 in 12 overs, before a direct hit from Kevin O'Brien ran out Gallian for 21. Pettini played the anchor role, scoring 84 from 82 balls, including six fours and three sixes. The only other score of note was Tim Philips (24*), as Essex posted 196 for 8 in their 35 overs.
Ireland, who had slumped to 12 for 3 against an Abu Dhabi XI on Wednesday, made a much better start as Reinhardt Strydom and Paul Stirling put on 80 for the second wicket after the loss of William Porterfield. When Palladino departed for a 31-ball 26, Eoin Morgan, who hit 196 earlier in the week, joined Strydom and the pair added 75
Strydom fell for 73 off 99 balls and then Niall O'Brien followed for 0, both victims of Tim Phillips, but Morgan saw Ireland home with eight balls to spare, finishing with an unbeaten 57.
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