Ireland captain, William Porterfield scorde 8 boundaries in the innings    Getty Images
Ireland captain, William Porterfield scorde 8 boundaries in the innings Getty Images

Ireland set UAE a target of 271 runs in the first One-Day International (ODI) being played at the ICCA in Dubai. The match started with the hosts winning the toss, and opting to field. Ireland started the batting with captain William Porterfield and Paul Stirling, who quickly retreated after scoring just 4 runs. Next came Andy Balbirnie, who also was left defeated by the joint effort of Mohammad Naveed and Amjad Javed. The shaky start gave UAE enough time to gather confidence, however they were still sure on the impending risk as Naveed and Javed put up a strong front. Likewise, Andy Balbirnie was out for the same score of 4 trapped in front of the stumps by Mohammad Naveed. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: UAE vs Ireland, 1st ODI at Dubai

The unsung star of the first innings was Niall O’Brien, who brought the confidence back in the Ireland camp. He hit a few boundaries to get the Irish side back into the contest. A beaming Porterfield, who became quite determined at the return of some hope to his team, went on to support his fellow teammate as he kept on scoring runs to keep the game going and the hosts frustrated. The duo kept the game going by scoring few runs for the next few overs.

Niall O’Brien’s concentration was broken in the 20th over when Rohan Mustafa ousted him for 34 off 58 balls, which included three boundaries . Perhaps it was the aggression of his brother’s defeat that inspired up Kevin O’ Brien as he immediately charged against the UAE side with a four off Imran Haider. Together, Kevin O’ Brien and Porterfield tug along the overs. But the hard hitting move from Ireland came when Kevin delivered a smashing six in the 24th over against Haider.

The junior O’Brien then went on a spree of delivering a sting of fours in almost every over, bringing the partnership between the two at 117 runs in over 15 overs against the trident force of Mustafa, Javed and Haider.

The start of 36th over proved to be an exciting time as it started off with Porterfield delivering his first six against Naveed. However, the celebration did not stay long as Kevin O’Brien departed for 69 after 124-run stand with the skipper for the fourth wicket. The player, who scored seven 4s and a six maybe did rub off some of his charm on the captain, as Porterfield went on to deliver three fours, making his number of boundaries go up to eight. He soon completed his hundred.

The UAE put up a strong front especially with the entering of Zahoor Khan who removed Porterfield, Gary Wilson, Andy McBrine George Dockrell, Stuart Thampson and Peter Chase. Ghulam shabber also played a vital role in game. As the match came to an innings break, Ireland seem to have charged with a strong game initially, but in the later half, with Zahoor s 6 for 34, UAE also levelled up on their bowling, bringing the chances of victory to a 50- 50 possibility.