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Stirling stars with bat despite a successful chase from UAE in 1st ODI

©Ireland Cricket

A Paul Stirling unbeaten century – his second in consecutive ODI innings – positioned Ireland well in the first one-day international today, but a clinical run chase by UAE saw the home side achieve its first-ever ODI win over a Full Member.


UAE Men v Ireland Men, 1st ODI, Abu Dhabi, 8 January 2021

Ireland 269-5 (50 overs; P Stirling 131*, A Balbirnie 53; R Mustafa 2-43)

UAE 273-4 (49 overs; C Rizwan 109, M Usman 105*; C Campher 2-31, B McCarthy 2-63)

UAE won by 6 wickets

See full scorecard

Near faultless centuries from Chundangapoyil Rizwan and Muhammad Usman steered UAE to victory – their first win over Ireland in the seven ODI clashes between the two sides.

Chasing 270, the hosts got off to a shaky start losing their openers, Vriitya Aravind (14) and Zawar Farid (15), inside the first eight overs, with Barry McCarthy accounting for both the wickets.

UAE lost another wicket, when Curtis Campher had Alishan Sharafu caught behind for one in the 13th over, reducing the hosts to 52-3.

Ireland looked in total control before Rizwan and Usman came together and changed the course of the game. The duo made the visitors' bowlers toil, with both the batsmen smashing maiden hundreds.

The visitors kept hunting for the breakthrough - which came courtesy of a sensational catch by Harry Tector in the 46th over – but it was too late. Rizwan (109) had shared a 184-run stand with Usman – the highest by a UAE pair for any wicket in ODIs. Usman reached his hundred in the penultimate over and hit the winning runs, as he remained unbeaten on 105.

Earlier, Irish skipper Andrew Balbirnie won the toss and elected to have a bat first. Openers Kevin O'Brien and Paul Stirling provided their side a steady start, sharing a 39-run stand before losing O'Brien in the 8th over. He became UAE debutant Kashif Daud's maiden ODI victim, who had the opener clean bowled for 23.

The wicket brought Balbirnie to the crease who joined forces with Stirling, and together they stitched a solid century stand, with both the batsmen reaching their fifties along the way. They kept the scoreboard ticking over at a rapid pace en route to a 102-run second-wicket stand, which laid the foundation stone for Ireland’s innings.

Balbirnie, who made his 10th half-century in ODIs, was dismissed for 53. The Ireland captain was looking for a slog sweep but Ahmed Raza managed to turn the ball away, and got the top edge as UAE 'keeper Aravind took an easy catch.

From 141-1, Ireland slipped to 159-4, losing Balbirnie, Harry Tector (6) and Lorcan Tucker (4) in quick succession, with Rohan Mustafa accounting for the last two wickets.

Curtis Campher, the No.6 batsman, contributed with important runs, 24 from 30, before becoming Palaniapan Meiyappan's only victim of the day.

Gareth Delany then joined Stirling in the middle, and together they shifted gears. At the end of the 46th over, Stirling brought up his 10th ODI ton with a single. The duo added 55 runs from the last five overs, lifting their side to a competitive total of 269-5.

Stirling was Ireland's star batsman, smashing a sensational 131* from 148 and also passing 9,000 runs for Ireland across all formats in the process, becoming only the second Irish batsman to reach the landmark after William Porterfield.


The international fixtures, which will be played at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, are:

UAE v Ireland – 2nd ODI – 10 Jan 2021 (start: 9.30am local time / 5.30am Irish time)
UAE v Ireland – 3rd ODI – 12 Jan 2021 (start: 9.30am local time / 5.30am Irish time)
UAE v Ireland – 4th ODI – 14 Jan 2021 (start: 9.30am local time / 5.30am Irish time)

Afghanistan v Ireland – 1st ODI – 21 Jan 2021 (start: 9.30am local time / 5.30am Irish time)
Afghanistan v Ireland – 2nd ODI – 24 Jan 2021 (start: 9.30am local time / 5.30am Irish time)
Afghanistan v Ireland – 3rd ODI – 26 Jan 2021 (start: 9.30am local time / 5.30am Irish time)

The matches against Afghanistan will be part of the World Cup Super League (see below for details).


Matches will be livestreamed via Facebook Live in Ireland / UK. For the rest of the world, the series with either be shown on satellite television or livestreamed, so please check local guides.


The Ireland Men’s squad is:

Andrew Balbirnie (C), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Kevin O’Brien, Neil Rock, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young.


Matches played as part of the inaugural ICC Cricket World Cup Super League (2020-2023) are essentially World Cup Qualifier matches, as the League will serve as part of the 2023 Cricket World Cup Qualification process.

The WCSL features thirteen teams, the twelve Full members of the International Cricket Council (ICC), and the Netherlands (who won the 2015–17 ICC World Cricket League Championship to qualify for this competition). Each team will play an ODI series against eight of the twelve opponents, four series at home and four away. Each series will consist of three ODIs. For the World Cup, the hosts (India in 2023), and the top seven-ranked sides thereafter, will qualify automatically. The remaining five teams will play in a qualifying event along with five Associate sides, from which two sides will go through to the final tournament.

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