Ireland is potentially one ICC Cricket World Cup win away from the quarter-finals after a two-wicket defeat of the United Arab Emirates in Brisbane on Wednesday. The UAE was first to bat and they recovered well to post 278/9 from their 50 overs. The first wicket to fall was Andri Berenger after an opening partnership of 49 runs. Four runs later Krishna Chandran followed and the top order folded to leave the Emiratis struggling at 131/6 with the best effort being 45 by Amjad Ali.
Shaiman Anwar and Amjad Javed came to the rescue with a World Cup seventh-wicket record stand of 107 runs. Javed hit 42 as Anwar became the first player from the Emirates to register a World Cup century. Paul Stirling’s 2/27 in 10 overs was the best effort by an Irish bowler as the Asian nation did well to set a challenging target of 279.
When the Irish innings started things were not promising as their first wicket to fall was Stirling with only 4 runs on the board. Ed Joyce and captain William Porterfield did well to steer the Emerald Island to 72 but both fell for 37 as a flurry of wickets fell to leave them struggling at 97/4. It took Gary Wilson’s 80 from 69 balls to stabilise matters for Ireland.
Andy Balbirnie chipped in with 30 and Kevin O’Brien contributed 50 to form the glue with Wilson to see their country home. By winning the game, Ireland moved to four points on the log and potentially one more win from reaching the knockout stage for the first time in its history.