Ireland open up six-point gap at top of World Cup table

Johnston’s four wickets help put Ireland on course for qualification

UAE 196 all out - 199-4 Ireland

World Cup qualifier

Trent Johnston (third from left) is congratulated by his Ireland team-mates after taking a wicket in the World Cup qualifier against the UAE in Sharjah. Photograph: Barry Chambers/ICC/Inpho

Date: 19 March, 2013

Venue: Sharjah

Wed, Mar 20, 2013, 14:47

   

Ireland continued their dominance of the World Cup qualifiers in Sharjah on Wednesday with a six-wicket victory over the United Arab Emirates that leaves them six points clear at the top of table and set for a third straight appearance in the finals in 2015.

It means Phil Simmons ’s side may need just one victory from their final four games to book one of the two automatic places for the event in Australia and New Zealand.

Ireland play the Netherlands in a double-header in Amsterdam at the start of July before finishing up their campaign with two games against Scotland at Stormont at the beginning of September.

Ireland’s second win over the UAE in three days was set up by a brilliant display of pace bowling from veteran Trent Johnston, who took back-to-back wickets in his second over before removing the home side’s two best batsmen to reduced the UAE to 80 for five after 17 overs.

The 38-year-old YMCA player finished with figures of four for 25 from nine overs, taking the key wickets of Khurram Khan and Swapnil Patel after they had both made 30 and helping to slow down their opponents after a promising start.

They did recover somewhat, through Shaiman Anwar (39) and Muhammad Azam (34), before John Mooney bowled the latter in the final over to end the innings on 196 and claim his second wicket.

In reply, Ireland lost both Paul Stirling (13) and Ed Joyce (22) to sweep shots, but skipper William Porterfield kept up his fine form with the bat with a measured innings of 77 off 104 deliveries.

Porterfield eventually departed in the 37th over after getting under a delivery from Azam and holing out to Khan at short mid-on with Ireland still 59 runs short of their target.

The UAE’s all spin attack made no further breakthroughs though, as Gary Wilson saw Ireland home for a second match in a row, finishing unbeaten on 39, with Kevin O’Brien wrapping up the win with two boundaries in the 48th over.

SCORECARD
(at Sharjah): Ireland won the toss and fielded.
UAE
A Shakoor lbw b Johnston 6
A Ali c Stirling b Cusack 10
F Asif c Stirling b Johnston 0
K Khan b Johnston 30
S Patil b Johnston 30
S Anwar c Stirling b Mooney 39
R Mustafa c Porterfield b Cusack 19
M Azam b Mooney 34
N Aziz c Porterfield b Dockrell 8
S Silva c N O'Brien b Stirling 2
K Shazad not out 1
Extras (lb5, w12) 17
Total (all out, 49.4 ovs) 196
Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-8, 3-30, 4-71, 5-80, 6-140, 7-144, 8-169, 9-187.
Bowling: T Johnston 9-2-25-4; M Sorensen 3-0-15-0; A Cusack 10-1-40- 2; P Stirling 8-0-37-1; G Dockrell 10-2-28-1; J Mooney 9.4-0-46-2.
IRELAND
W Porterfield c Khan b Azam 77
P Stirling c Shakoor b Silva 13
E Joyce lbw b Mustafa 22
N O'Brien c Khan b Aziz 20
G Wilson not out 39
K O’Brien not out 25
Extras (lb1, nb1, w1) 3
Total (for 4 wkts, 47.4 ovs ) 199
Did not bat: J Mooney, A Cusack, T Johnston, M Sorensen, G Dockrell.
Fall of wickets: 1-29, 2-77, 3-124, 4-138.
Bowling: K Shahzad 4.4-1-16-0; S Silva 7-0-30-1; M Azam 8.2-0-28-1; N Aziz 9.4-0-50-1; R Mustafa 8-1-29-1; A Ali 9-0-37-0; K Khan 1-0-8-0.
Ireland won by 6 wickets.

STANDINGS
1 Ireland P10 Pts 17 Net RR +1.040
2 Scotland P10 Pts 11 NRR -0.018
3 Afghanistan P10 Pts 11 NRR -0.313
4 Netherlands P8 Pts 10 NRR +0.643
5 Kenya P10 Pts 10 NRR +0.006
6 UAE P10 Pts 10 NRR -0.249
7 Namibia P8 Pts 4 NRR -0.375
8 Canada P10 Pts 3 NRR -0.710