Ireland v UAE, World T20, Group B, Sylhet March 19, 2014

Win takes Ireland closer to main draw


Ireland 103 for 3 (Joyce 43) beat United Arab Emirates 123 for 6 (Anwar 30) by 21 runs (D/L method)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Two down, one more to go for Ireland. After taking down a Full Member, Zimbabwe, two days ago, they ensured they didn't take it easy against the weakest side in the group, United Arab Emirates. Asking UAE to bat, Ireland kept them to an extremely manageable 123 for 6.

Netherlands' 140 had proved inadequate earlier in the day against Zimbabwe, and the ball was only going to come on better under lights. Despite the early loss of Paul Stirling to injury, Ireland were well on their way to victory at 103 for 3 in the 15th over when the floodlights went off at the Sylhet Stadium around 10.10pm local time, the electricity cut due to an impending storm.

The lights came back on and play resumed after ten minutes only for the ground to be plunged into darkness two balls later. This time, rain followed the loss of power. The ensuing delay was enough for the match to be called off, leaving Ireland winners by 21 runs by the Duckworth-Lewis method, although the lights started to regain life again another ten minutes later, only to witness a proper downpour this time.

Stirling could not perform his role with the bat but he had already played a crucial one with the ball, when he snapped up two wickets in the seventh over to leave UAE at 46 for 3. Those strikes squeezed out whatever momentum UAE had built up with some free-spirited strokeplay at the start. Amjad Ali and Faizan Asif, the UAE openers, did not display the best understanding while running between the wickets but, before frequent confusion culminated in the latter's run-out, the pair had put on 35 within five overs.

Stirling earned Ireland further inroads after that gifted break from UAE. In a spell of 3-1-12-2, he had Amjad cutting to short third man in the seventh over, while Swapnil Patil stepped out and popped one straight to short midwicket three balls later.

Just like their opening match against Netherlands, UAE were forced to rebuild but they weren't able to regain any impetus against the Ireland medium-pacers, led by Kevin O'Brien, who returned figures of 4-0-17-2. Shaiman Anwar did club a couple of sixes in his 30 off 28 but UAE also played out as many as 48 dot balls, piling more pressure on themselves.

That resulted in two more quick wickets, setting them back even further. Shaiman mis-hit a pull back to O'Brien off the last ball of the 14th over to make it 88 for 4. Three balls later, that became 90 for 5 as Khurram top-edged a slog, the skier coming down in cover's hands.

Ireland tightened the screws further towards the end, as UAE were able to score only three boundaries off the last five overs - despite losing only wicket in that period - against a mix of full deliveries and slower ones.

Stirling suffered a blow to the elbow off the second ball of the chase after he was too early on an attempted pull. He did punch a couple of boundaries in the same over but was in too much discomfort despite taking treatment, and had to leave the field early in the second over.

Ed Joyce and William Porterfield extended Ireland's dominance with an 80-run stand that came in 68 deliveries. With an eye on their net run-rate, Ireland lost a few quick wickets in trying to finish the game early. There was to be an early finish, but Ireland could not claim to have wrought it.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2014, 23:34 GMT

    Paul Stirling has been a key player for Ireland in this tournament - is he likely to play against the Netherlands tomorrow, after retiring hurt in the last match?

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2014, 6:28 GMT

    Its is sad to see the exit of a good team, the UAE. Hopes were high this time as the coach did good job to built a team however it looks like that the team could not sustain pressure of playing in a big tournament. Mently they looked weak and physically the fitness level was not good as comparing to the other teams players like Ireland who are having same age group players like the UAE has. As there are enough funds available with UAE board and the rich peoiple are actually running the cricket, they need to spend now and send the team to the other countries so they learn how to perform better while playing abroad. Also UAE selectors need to induct full time yougsters who are available but get hardly any chance, specially the UAE born players. A combination of young and few senior players will give better chances to the UAE team to compete in the future competiions like ICC World Cup 2015.

  • Mark on March 20, 2014, 5:05 GMT

    Being A South African we understand too well how storms can mess with a game. Bangladesh is doing a god job. I am a big Ireland supporter and really hope they pull some surprises (even if it is over SA)....I think they need to play more and show the world their talent. If Zim can plays test cricket, I do not see why the Irish are not granted this status too.

  • Dummy4 on March 19, 2014, 19:34 GMT

    Electricity cut out isn't your fault Bangladeshi people!! It could to any of us with weather like that. I am sure the competition will continue as it has started - with great success.

    Thank goodness Ireland were prepared for trouble early on - they didn't want rain to spoil the party again!!

  • Chris on March 19, 2014, 19:34 GMT

    Well done Ireland! far more worthy than Zimbabwe in my books. Already beaten 2 full members this year in the small amount of games they have played sadly. Should go through and have a funny feeling Ireland will upset one of the big boys in their super 10 group.

  • Dummy4 on March 19, 2014, 19:28 GMT

    We don't blame the Bangladeshi people ABCDEF_12345 :) - Every Irish cricket fan and world cricket fan knows the love the Bangladeshi people have for the game. It's just a pity that the game couldn't have come to a natural conclusion.

    We still need to beat the Dutch and it won't be easy but I believe we can do it if we play to our best :)

  • VIJAY on March 19, 2014, 19:16 GMT

    @abcdef_12345..i liked your attitude and love for cricket....keep it up.....

  • Dummy4 on March 19, 2014, 19:04 GMT

    and this ensures bangladesh does not get any ipl action this summer

  • ESPN on March 19, 2014, 18:37 GMT

    thunderstorm is common in this time of year in this part of world (locally known as Kalboisakhi). it is difficult to understand for people of other country how destructive it can be. power cut is intentionally done to prevent larger damage. Ideally such big tournament should organised in winter(dec jan in bangladesh) to prevent this problem.

  • Android on March 19, 2014, 18:33 GMT

    only a big congratulations! but disappointed with the title it will be more appropriate if it like an all round Ireland won by 21 runs by dl method .

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