This is the first time that Ireland is in Dubai for a bilateral ODI series © Getty Images
This is the first time that Ireland is in Dubai for a bilateral ODI series © Getty Images

 

The second and final ODI between UAE and Ireland is scheduled to take place at Dubai’s ICC Global Cricket Academy Ground, on Saturday. Ireland won the series opener by 85 runs, taking an all-important lead in the two-match series. They scored 270 runs at 49.3 overs, later on restricting UAE for 185 all-out in 41.4 overs. This is the first time that Ireland is in Dubai for a bilateral ODI series. The two ODIs have been arranged as a part of Ireland’s training prior to the intercontinental match with Afghanistan, which will be held in India’s Greater Noida. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: UAE vs Ireland, 2nd ODI at Dubai

UAE invited the Irish to bat first. It, in fact, proved to be a crucial one. Even UAE were on the wrong side of the result, they proved that they are not just a mere team, as they put up a spirited performance.

The match started with off with a rather shaky display from the Irish team with opening batsmen Paul Stirling and Andy Balbirnie not doing much. It was only after Niall O’Brien’s entry in fifth overs that Ireland picked up some pace. However, the credit for keeping the team strong definitely goes to the captain William Porterfield, eventually getting the Man-of-the-Match award. Not only did Porterfield provide an excellent support to his fellow batsmen, but he also went on to deliver a string of fours coupled with a six during the 36th over, when the side desperately needed a strike to win.

Ireland also found a champion in the other O’Brien brother, Kevin, who went on smash a four in almost every over, after he is elder brother Niall was dismissed 34. It was Kevin’s back-to-back boundary hits that bought the partnership between Porterfield and Kevin at 117 runs in over 15 overs.

In the second innings, George Dockrell, who did not really shine during the first innings, upped the ante, striking off his UAE counterparts with much damage. Peter Chase, Craig Young, Stuart Thompson and Andy McBrine bowled with consistency and went on to engage the UAE batting side in single.

If Kevin O’Brien outshone in the first innings with his batting, Zahoor Khan was also hard to ignore with his flare. Khan, went on to demolish Porterfield, Gary Wilson, Andy McBrine George Dockrell, Stuart Thompson and Peter Chase. He may not have been that much of a performer with his batting in the second innings but that does not take away the fact that he played a very good game. The UAE innings, unlike that of their competition, did not lag behind in their initiation. Rohan Mustafa, holding the national banner high as the captain, came out all guns blazing. Before he was bowled by McBrine, Mustafa scored 29 balls in 43 runs with six boundaries and two sixes.

Mustafa was followed by Muhammad Naveed and Adnan Mufti, and together the trio went on to give UAE a major boost over the visitors. For once, it looked like Ireland will face defeat in the hands of the hosts. But their winning feat soon ended with Mufti being bowled by Dockrell at 5 runs with 39 balls. Shaiman Anwar and Anwar Raza scored decent amount of runs. The UAE side could have tried hard, but it is sad that they could not survive 50 overs.

In the second ODI, it will be interesting to watch how UAE will retaliate against their defeat. Zahoor Khan has to play another game to showcase his full potential and so does Imran Haider. The pressure, however, is on Shaiman Anwar, Amjad Javed who played an excellent game to score a win.

The Irish side will have their strength in Porterfield and Kevin O’Brien for batting, while George Dockrell and Stuart Thompson have the potential to take on any bowling side. Though the venue might be foreign to them, Ireland has managed to play well and will hope for a likely win tomorrow as well.

Squads:

Ireland: William Porterfield (c), Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Gary Wilson (wk), Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, George Dockrell, Barry McCarthy, Tim Murtagh, Andy Balbirnie, Andy McBrine, Jacob Mulder, Stuart Thompson, Craig Young

UAE: Rohan Mustafa (c), Shaiman Anwar (vc), Adnan Mufti, Mohammed Usman, Ghulam Shabbir (wk), Mohammed Qasim, Amjad Javed, Mohammed Naveed, Ahmed Raza, Imran Haider, Zahoor Khan, Qadeer Ahmed, Rameez Shahzad, Laxman Sreekumar.