UAE win puts World Cup qualifier campaign back on track

Porterfield and Stirling record highest opening partnership in Ireland ODI history

Ireland’s William Porterfield and Paul Stirling were in record-breaking form against UAE. Photograph: Getty Images

Ireland’s William Porterfield and Paul Stirling were in record-breaking form against UAE. Photograph: Getty Images

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Ireland recorded a dominant 226-run Duckworth-Lewis victory over the United Arab Emirates in Harare to progress through to the Super Six stage of the World Cup qualifying tournament.

Paul Stirling hit a rapid 126 off 117 deliveries as he helped captain William Porterfield, who made 92, set a record-breaking opening partnership of 205.

Kevin O’Brien added an unbeaten 50 from just 26 balls as Ireland eventually posted 313 for six off 44 overs following two short rain delays. Mohammad Naveed took three for 84 from his nine-over spell, including the wicket of Stirling.

The UAE were set a revised victory target of 318, but never looked like getting close.

Boyd Rankin claimed four wickets as the UAE were dismissed for only 91 runs in the 30th over, wicketkeeper Ghulam Shabeer the top scorer at 19.

Rankin returned figures of four for 15 from his devastating six-over spell, and all-rounder Simi Singh also picked up three wickets for 15.

Ireland will next face Zimbabwe in the first game of the Super Six stage on March 16th, then meet Scotland and Afghanistan.

Stirling was deservedly named as the player of the match and he told reporters; “It’s nice to come back from that West Indies loss and put in a good team performance today. We knew coming into today we needed, I think, four wins from four to get through hopefully. So that is still on track, but still three to go.”

Match summary

Ireland 313-6 (44 overs; P Stirling 126, W Porterfield 92, K O’Brien 50*; M Naveed 3-82)

UAE 91 all out (29.3 overs; G Shabber 19; B Rankin 4-15, S Singh 3-15, B McCarthy 2-26)

Ireland won by 226 runs (DLS method).

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