Ireland get the better of Scotland by 17 runs, while Afghanistan and Namibia also triumphed.
Ed Joyce's heroics see Ireland past Scotland at World Twenty20
DUBAI // Ireland's cricketers extended their St Patrick's Day celebrations by 24 hours as they eased to a 17-run win over Scotland in the World Twenty20 Qualifier yesterday.
It is a marker of cricket's confused boundaries that the player with the best pedigree in a match between Ireland and Scotland was the one who used to play for England.
Ed Joyce might have scored a one-day international century for England against Australia in the past, but his knock of 78 against the Scots was his maiden half-century in 66 T20 matches. His efforts, in particular in sending the last two balls of the Ireland innings for six, were impressive.
"I have always found Twenty20 a hard game to play as I never know whether to stick or twist," said Joyce, whose innings used up just 45 deliveries.
The Irish have bounced back strongly after surprisingly losing the opening game of this tournament to Namibia.
"If we win every game we play from now on we go through, and that is the only way we are looking at it," Will Porterfield, the Ireland captain, said.
Ireland may have to continue their pursuit of qualification without the services of John Mooney, who went to hospital last night from a scan on the injury he sustained while fielding against Scotland.
On the other side of Dubai Sports City, Afghanistan beat Canada by 41 runs in the first official international match to be played at the ICC Global Cricket Academy.
Samiullah Shenwari struck 61 in 31 balls for the Afghans, then took four for 14 as the holders extended their unbeaten run.
Namibia, who beat Ireland on the opening day, also remained undefeated as they beat Kenya by seven wickets.