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UAE vs Ireland World Cup: Ireland win thriller by 2 wickets

By Cricket Correspondent and Agencies

Ireland defeated the United Arab Emirates by two wickets in a thrilling World Cup Pool B match at the Gabba on Wednesday.

Chasing 279 to win, Gary Wilson top-scored for Ireland with 80 although it was Kevin O'Brien who gave the innings impetus with a 24-ball half-century as victory was secured with just four balls remaining.

Earlier, Pakistan-born Shaiman Anwar scored the first hundred by a UAE batsman at a World Cup with 106 off 83 balls.

Ireland now have two wins in two while the UAE have lost both their opening pool matches.



Amjad Ali c Sorensen b K O'Brien 45
A. Berenger c Porterfield b Stirling 13
K. Chandran c K O'Brien b Stirling 0
Khurram Khan lbw b Dockrell 36
S. Patil c Stirling b K O'Brien 2
Shaiman Anwar c Wilson b Sorensen 106
R. Mustafa c Wilson b Cusack 2
Amjad Javed c Joyce b Sorensen 42
Mohammad Naveed c and b Cusack 13
Mohammad Tauqir not out 2
M. Guruje not out 0
Extras (b1, lb4, w11, nb1) 17
Total (9 wkts, 50 overs) 278
Fall of wickets: 1-49 (Berenger), 2-53 (Chandran), 3-73 (Ali), 4-78 (Patil), 5-125 (Khurram), 6-131 (Mustafa), 7-238 (Javed), 8-269 (Anwar), 9-276 (Naveed)
Bowling: Mooney 6-0-32-0 (1nb, 2w); Sorensen 10-0-60-2; Cusack 10-0-54-2 (3w); Stirling 10-0-27-2 (1w); K O'Brien 7-0-61-2 (4w); Dockrell 7-0-39-1 (1w)

W. Porterfield b Mohammad Tauqir 37
P. Stirling c Patil b Guruge 3
E. Joyce c Patil b Amjad Javed 37
N. O'Brien lbw b Mohammad Tauqir 17
A. Balbirnie c sub (Saqlain) b Naveed 30
G. Wilson c Javed b Naveed 80
K. O'Brien c Naveed b Amjad Javed 50
J. Mooney c Ali b Amjad Javed 2
A. Cusack not out 5
G. Dockrell not out 7
Extras (b4, lb3, w2, nb2) 11
Total (8 wkts, 49.2 overs) 279
Did not bat: M Sorensen
Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Stirling), 2-72 (Joyce), 3-94 (Porterfield), 4-97 (N O'Brien), 5-171 (Balbirnie), 6-243 (K O'Brien), 7-259 (Mooney), 8-267 (Wilson)
Bowling: Naveed 9.2-1-65-2 (1nb); Guruge 7-0-21-1 (1w); Javed 10-0-60-3; Tauqir 9-0-38-2 (1nb); Mustafa 9-0-45-0; Chandran 5-0-43-0 (1w)

Result: Ireland won by two wickets

Toss: Ireland
Umpires: Nigel Llong (ENG), Michael Gough (ENG)
TV umpire: Kumar Dharmasena (SRI)
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)



The United Arab Emirates believe their Pool B match against Ireland in Brisbane on Wednesday offers them a "wonderful opportunity" of a World Cup win, according to batsman Khurram Khan.

Both associate or non-Test nations know each other well, having played each other repeatedly in various lower-level International Cricket Council competitions.

The UAE, the only amateur side in the tournament, impressed before going down by four wickets to Zimbabwe first time out while Ireland beat the West Indies by the same margin - a result no longer classed as an 'upset'.

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Both teams will fancy their chances at Brisbane's Gabba ground and Khurram said Tuesday: "I think it's going to be a very important game, obviously.

"They'll be targeting us. We've played lots of games against them," added Khurram, who made 45 against Zimbabwe.

"I think it's a wonderful opportunity because it's a very important game for us as well. So we're definitely targeting this game."

Asked where the team needed to improve most on their performance against Zimbabwe, Khurram was clear.

"Definitely I would say in the fielding. We missed three run-out chances."

Meanwhile Khurram insisted the UAE were an amateur side in name only, saying: As we're here, we'll enjoy our time and be as professional as we can.

"Obviously we have jobs back home, but once you're here you completely forget about the jobs and what's behind the scenes. We're here to win as many games as we can."

The UAE are also unusual in having two 43-year-olds in their squad in Khurram and captain Mohammad Tauqir.

Not that either man was in a mood for a birthday party.

"We stopped celebrating after 40, actually," Khurram joked.

The way in which the four associate teams - Afghanistan, Ireland, Scotland and the UAE - have all performed so far at this World Cup has led to widespread criticism of the ICC's plan to reduce the number of teams at the 2019 edition in England from 14 to 10.

Khurram added the associates needed more matches against higher-ranked sides between World Cups, saying it was the only way to ensure they made sustained progress. 

"I'd like to see us play many more matches against Test-playing nations," he said. "You cannot just expect us to come to a World Cup and do well without playing any other games against them before the World Cup.

"It's a slow process. Obviously it's going to take time. But you've seen some of the (associates' World Cup) games. They've been crucial and close games, and we're looking forward to having some good games."

Ireland captain William Porterfield was scathing about the planned reduction in the number of World Cup teams.

"I think it's frustrating whenever you come to tournaments and the governing body wants to keep cutting teams," he said. "I think it's the only sport in the world that does that when it comes to world events.

"You have your Champions Trophy every couple years and that's with the top eight teams. And it wouldn't be a World Cup if you just keep reducing teams and having only the top few teams that are ranked," Porterfield added.

"It is a global event, and it's a sport we want to grow and you're only going to grow that if you have more teams participating around the world."

Five match facts:

- Ireland's win against West Indies made their overall one-day international record a positive one -- they have won 42 matches and lost 41.

- Ed Joyce needs 33 runs to become the sixth player to score 1,000 ODI runs for Ireland. John Mooney is 94 runs short of the landmark.

- After scoring 56 runs in his first five World Cup innings, Paul Stirling has hit 193 runs in his last two innings, from 156 balls.

- Three of the four lowest completed ODI first innings totals in Australia in the last five years have come at Brisbane.

- The last eight toss-winners in ODIs at Brisbane have elected to bat first - the last three have all gone on to lose.