x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

World Twenty20 round-up: Ireland edge UAE in thriller

Dismissal of captain Khurram Khan for 35 spurs a mini collapse as UAE's pursuit of 139 comes up short by five runs in Abu Dhabi. Also, other results from the World Twenty20 Qualifier.

Kevin O’Brien on his way to a well-made 47 that helped Ireland to 138 for five against the UAE in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Kevin O’Brien on his way to a well-made 47 that helped Ireland to 138 for five against the UAE in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

ABU DHABI // Something had to give when Ireland and the UAE met in Group A of the World Twenty20 Qualifier on Sunday at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

Both teams came into the match with 100 per cent win records, but it was the Irish who were still smiling on Sunday night after surviving a gallant run-chase from the UAE to prevail by the margin of five runs.

William Porterfield’s side were pushed throughout by the host nation, first when they batted, and then in the field, as the match went down to the penultimate ball before the UAE were bowled out for 133 in pursuit of Ireland’s 138 for five.

Ireland had got off to a good start after choosing to bat, scoring 30 off the first 15 balls of the innings.

But two wickets in four balls from Shadeep Silva dented their momentum, and they were reeling at 42 for three when Porterfield was run out.

But the UAE’s hopes of ripping through the Irish batting were frustrated by steady knocks from wicketkeeper Gary Wilson (53 not out) and Kevin O’Brien (47).

While there were few boundaries in their stand of 92 for the fourth wicket, with Wilson hitting three, O’Brien two, and one maximum, the pair kept the scoreboard ticking over to push the score to a defendable total, despite two wickets falling in the final over.

Captain Khurram Khan (35), coming in at one down, led the UAE response with a quick-fire knock, which included four boundaries, but when he was the second wicket to fall, caught by John Mooney off Max Sorensen with the score on 59, it was the catalyst for a mini-collapse as they slipped to 93 for five.

Requiring 24 off the final two overs, the UAE were given hope as two sixes from Amjad Javed (14) brought the target down to 10 required off eight balls.

But it then all went wrong as Javed was stumped off the bowling of Alex Cusack.

Rohan Mustafa (27 not out) was powerless to prevent the UAE’s tail-end batting implode in the final over, as two run outs occurred before the match was ended by No 11 Manjula Guruge being bowled first ball by Trent Johnston.

Ireland now top the group on six points, but they can be joined on today when Hong Kong, the only other side yet to lose, take on winless Canada in Abu Dhabi this afternoon.

Yesterday’s other Group A game saw Namibia pick up their first victory here as they cruised to a 35-run over the United States.

Sarel Burger top-scored for the Namibians with 43 off 36 balls as they made 163 for four in their innings.

The US could only manage 128 for eight in reply, with their hopes ending after opener Steven Taylor, their captain, was dismissed for 44.

Other results

Namibia 163-4

Burger 43; Ganesh 2-14

United States 128-8

Taylor 44; Scholtz 2-18

Namibia won by 35 runs

Ireland 138-5

Wilson 53 (no); Silva 2-23

UAE 133 all out

Khurram 35; Sorensen 2-17

Ireland won by 5 runs

Bermuda 144-8

Tucker 51; Jamil 2-15

Netherlands 145-2

Myburgh 78 (no); Robinson 2-27

Netherlands won by 8 wickets

PNG 167-6

Ura 56; Shenwari 3-23

Afghanistan 72-4

Nabi 36 (no); Vanua 1-5

Afghanistan won by 6 wickets (D/L method)