Gary Wilson rescued Ireland from a precarious position with a 69-ball 80 © Getty Images
Gary Wilson rescued Ireland from a precarious position with a 69-ball 80 © Getty Images

Ireland managed to outsmart the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by two wickets in what was a gripping contest between the so-called minnows. The match oscillated in favour of Ireland and UAE like a crazy pendulum, with both sides playing their heart out. Amit Banerjee sheds light on some of the key moments from the match. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: POINTS TABLE

The 16th match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 between Ireland and the UAE at the Gabba was not one that was ever going to attract a huge crowd. Ireland had put up a terrific performance against the West Indies in a giant-killing effort in their opening match of the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. Despite that, a match between two sides that are considered ‘lowly’ compared to the Test-playing nations is one that would be perceived ‘boring’ by most of the cricket audiences across the world. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Pool-wise Team Standings

 

 

At the end of the contest between the two sides in a day-night encounter at the Gabba, the 5,000-odd spectators, as well as the cricket journalists covering the match were left gasping for breath. It turned out to be a match that could have swung either way until the winning shot was hit by George Dockrell. It was also a match that saw the 2011 World Cup hero Kevin O’Brien return to his former glory with the bat, scoring fifty runs after playing half as many deliveries to play a major role in Ireland’s win. It was a game that saw the Ireland tail-enders hold their nerve, even as all the results were wide open. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: SCHEDULE & MATCH DETAILS

Following are the five moments that the fans of the sport are likely to embed in their memories for a very long time:

Ireland run through the UAE top-order: UAE were off to an ideal start, with Amjad Ali and Andri Berenger adding 49 runs for the first wicket. Berenger’s dismissal for a score of 13 of 25 balls, caused a mini collapse leaving the Emiratis reeling at a score of 78 for four. Amjad Ali missed out on a half-century by five runs. Khurram Khan led a brief fight-back in the middle-order with a knock of 36 off 53 balls, before getting trapped leg-before by Dockrell.  At 131 for six, a score of 200 seemed a far cry, which would have sapped the confidence out of their team’s bowlers. Top 10 batsmen in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

Shaiman Anwar comes to UAE’s rescue again: It was Pakistan-born batsman Shaiman Anwar, who rose to the occasion with the bat once again when his team needed him. Anwar made the day a memorable one in UAE cricket history when he became the first UAE batsman to score a century in a World Cup. He went on to hit ten boundaries and a six as his knock of 106 off 83 balls helped his side recover from the torrential rain of wickets, forming a crucial 107-run partnership with Amjad Javed (42) for the seventh wicket. UAE once again managed to finish on a respectable score of 278 for nine. Top 10 bowlers in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

Ireland off to a terrible start: Paul Stirling, the top-scorer for Ireland in their four-wicket win against West Indies at Nelson, was dismissed for three as Ireland were four for one in less than two overs, edging the delivery to the wicket-keeper while attempting to play the delivery that was pitched well outside off. It was exactly the situation that Ireland wanted to avoid. The pressure was now on skipper William Porterfield, as well as on Ed Joyce to get their side out of trouble. Top 10 fielders in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

Ed Joyce’s freak incident: Joyce was batting on 16 off 20 deliveries when he was beaten by an Amjad Javed delivery that brushed the off stump, and even disturbed the LED bails by the slightest bit, which refused to fall off, thus rendering Joyce not out. Javed had even begun celebrating with his team-mates, only for them to react with a mixture of shock and confusion once they realised what had transpired. The incident is sure to become a viral trend in the days to come. Top 10 wicketkeepers in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

Gary Wilson-Kevin O’Brien feast on UAE: Wilson came to the crease at a time when the balance of the match was firmly tilted in favour of the opposition. The Irish wicket-keeper added a vital 74-run partnership with Andrew Balbirnie to rescue their side from an embarrassing collapse. While Balbirnie played a valuable knock of 30 from 41 balls, Wilson as well as Ireland needed a hard-hitting batsman who would blast his way through the opposition bowling attack, and bring their side within touching distance of a victory. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Complete Coverage

That need was fulfilled when Kevin O’Brien descended to the centre at the Gabba, and began his savagery from the very second ball. While the earlier partnership had helped stabilise Ireland, it was the Wilson-O’Brien stand that proved to be a match-winning stand. The duo added a whirlwind 72 runs off just 36 deliveries, with O’Brien smashing 50 runs off 25 deliveries, the fastest half-century by an Irishman in a World Cup.

(Amit Banerjee, a reporter at CricketCountry, takes keen interest in photography, travelling, technology, automobiles, food and, of course, cricket. He can be followed on Twitter via his handle @akb287)