Gary Wilson Half-Century Extends Ireland's Lead
Ireland 169-5 (Wilson 72no) beat
United Arab Emirates 165 by 5 wickets
First one-day match, Sharjah
Ireland extended their lead at the top of the World Cricket League Championship by beating nearest rivals United Arab Emirates by five wickets in the first of two one-day games in Sharjah.
Batting first, UAE were dismissed for 165 as Paul Stirling and Alex Cusack both took three wickets and Ireland survived a mid-innings wobble to reach their target in 42 overs.
Gary Wilson scored a composed unbeaten 72 as Ireland kept themselves in pole position to qualify for the 2015 World Cup with this result.
The top two teams in the table will qualify automatically for the 2015 event.
Ireland had had the better of the drawn ICC Intercontinental Cup game between the pair, but UAE called up a number of limited overs specialists for this series. Abdul Shakoor made 21 at the top of the order but Swapnil Patil top scored with 65 and Shaiman Anwar hit 35.
Cusack returned figures of three for 21, Paul Stirling three for 32 and Dockrell two for 15 to bowl UAE out in 46.4 overs.
They also struggled for fluency early on as William Porterfield (19), Stirling (14), Ed Joyce (12), Niall O'Brien (4) and Kevin O'Brien (18) all fell cheaply and Ireland found themselves at 51 for four and then 107 for five, Nazir Aziz doing much of the damage with three for 26.
Wilson then stepped up with an innings that would have graced any full One-Day International, stroking 72 in 102 balls with 10 fours to see his side home alongside John Mooney, who made 23 in 46 balls.
The pair shared an unbroken sixth-wicket stand worth 62.
The two sides meet again in the second game on Wednesday (20th March).
World Cricket League Championship standings: Ireland 12 points, UAE, Afghanistan 10 points, Kenya, Scotland 8 points, Netherlands 6 points, Namibia, Canada 2 points
Afghanistan, Kenya, Scotland and Canada have played 8 matches, Ireland and UAE 7 matches, Netherlands and Namibia 6 matches.
© Cricket World 2013
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