Ireland 125-4 (Porterfield 58) beat
UAE 122-9 (Murtagh 3-11) by 6 wickets
Only Twenty20, Sharjah
Ireland made it three wins out of three on the limited-overs leg of their tour of the United Arab Emirates, following up victory in the two 50-over matches with a win in the one-off Twenty20 today.
Tim Murtagh, who sat out the two World Cricket League Championship fixtures, returned figures of three for 11 from his four overs to help restrict the home side to 122 for nine. Captain William Porterfield then ensured that the run chase would pose no major problems, hitting 58 off 40 balls. Gary Wilson ended his excellent tour on a good note by hitting the winning runs to finish on 35 not out.
The UAE were asked to bat by Ireland captain William Porterfield and fielded seven players on their Twenty20 debuts. The first of those, Bakthiyar Paleker, lasted all of three balls before he was caught off Paul Stirling, who had been chosen to open the Irish attack with his off-breaks. Tim Murtagh then took over and had Salman Faris leg-before in his opening over; bowled Amjad Ali in his second; and completed his three wicket haul by having Asim Khurshid bowled in his third over.
At that point, the UAE were 24 for four and going nowhere. However, wicket-keeper Swapnil Patil and all-rounder Rohan Mustafa put on 49 for the fifth-wicket. Patil was easily the more fluent of the two and made 41 off 32 balls, including two sixes, before becoming the first of two wickets in successive overs for George Dockrell (two for 34). Mohammad Azam (20 not out off 11 balls), Adil Riyal (10 off 11) and captain Ahmed Raza (11 off four) then added some late momentum, hitting three further maximums between them as the home side ended their innings on a modest 122 for nine.
That total was never likely to be enough and while the bulk of the Ireland top-order struggled against the UAE spin threat, Porterfield didn’t and ensured that the required run rate never really climbed. The usually aggressive Paul Stirling contributed only nine to an opening stand of 54, while James Shannon made just 12 of the second-wicket partnership of 28. Porterfield’s innings finally ended via a run-out, but Wilson took over. He hit sixes off both the 18th and 19th overs before finishing the job with a four from the fifth delivery of the penultimate over.
The UAE spinners, Ahmed Raza (4-0-25-0), Rohan Mustafa (4-0-9-2) and Mohammad Azam (4-0-20-0), had all bowled tidily in the middle of the innings for the home side, but ultimately they just didn’t have enough runs to work with.
© Cricket World 2013
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