Record-Breaking Porterfield Downs USA
Ireland captain William Porterfield hit a record-breaking 127 not out as his side thrashed the United States of America by 75 runs on day six of the ICC World Twenty20 2014 Qualifier in the UAE.
His innings helped Ireland ease to a fourth straight win while in the other morning game, in Group B, Afghanistan similarly made easy work of Bermuda, cruising to a seven-wicket victory.
In the later games, Hong Kong beat Namibia in Group A and Netherlands beat Nepal in Group B.
Porterfield smashed 12 fours and five sixes as he made his way to 127 in just 69 balls of Ireland's innings of 216 for three.
It is the highest Twenty20 score by an Irishman and indeed the ninth highest of all time, slotting in alongside Murali Vijay and just behind Chris Gayle. The innings stands in third place in terms of all international cricket as only Australia's Aaron Finch (156) and Namibia's LP van der Westhuizen (145) have scored more representing their country.
Paul Stirling also made a quickfire 25 and John Mooney added 32 not out in 13 balls as Ireland stormed to a huge score.
USA, always up against it, gave their target a good and did themselves plenty of credit before they were eventually bowled out for 141 - a score that would have won many matches at this tournament already.
Akeem Dodson top scored with 27 in 25 balls and Neil McGarrell hit 23 in 17 balls before Stirling (3-25), Mooney (2-18), George Dockrell (2-19) and Max Sorensen (2-24) completed the formalities.
Hong Kong bounced back from their defeat to UAE as they comfortably beat Namibia by eight wickets with 10 balls to spare.
Namibia's batting line-up failed to come to terms with Hong Kong's bowling and LP van der Westhuizen top scored with a modest 22 as Nadeem Ahmed took three for 18.
Namibia could only reach 111 for eight and for them, Nelson was not a lucky score and it proved an insufficient target for the in-form Hong Kong batsmen. Irfan Ahmed (2) fell early but 34 not out from Waqas Barkat, 50 in 43 balls from Jamie Atkinson and 20 not out in 16 balls from Nizakat Khan ended Namibia's hopes once and for all.
Standings: Hong Kong, Ireland 8 points, United Arab Emirates 6 points, Namibia 4 points, Canada, Italy, Uganda, USA 2 points
Bermuda started this tournament strongly but have struggled to maintain their form and they were blown away by Afghanistan.
Batting first, they only just reached three figures before being bowled out for 101 in 18.1 overs. Samiullah Shenwari picked up three wickets while Shapoor Zadran, Karim Sadiq and Mohammad Nabi grabbed two apiece.
Lionel Cann top scored Bermuda with 28 and Afghanistan needed just 9.5 overs to reach their target as Mohammad Shahzad thumped 60 in 36 balls and Nabi 33 in 16 to complete an eight-wicket win.
The Netherlands hit the top of the group with a five-wicket win over Nepal in what was their closest game of the tournament so far.
Gyanendra Malla struck 44 for Nepal but lacked support and they closed on 107 for six as Mudassar Bukhari showed his class with three for 15 and Ahsan Malik returned two for 29.
Despite the modest target, the Netherlands struggled for a while before closing out the game. They started well enough with Stephan Myburgh continuing his fine tournament by scoring 31 in 20 balls but as Wesley Barresi (11), Daan van Bunge (11), Peter Borren (17) and Mitchell Swart (3) all fell to Khadka, Shakti Gauchan and Basant Regmi (3-12), Nepal sensed an upset.
However, they were finally thwarted, and made to rue not scoring a few more runs, by Eric Szwarczynski's 28 not out and Ben Cooper's unbeaten 12 in seven balls as the Dutch got home in the 17th over.
Standings: Netherlands 8 points, Afghanistan, Nepal 6 points, Bermuda, Kenya, Papua New Guinea 4 points, Scotland 2 points, Denmark 0 points
© Cricket World 2013