William Porterfield says Ireland were ‘cool, calm and collected’ in UAE chase

George Dockrell clinched a final-over victory in thrilling Cricket World Cup match

George Dockrell celebrates scoring the winning runs in Ireland’s two-wicket victory over the United Arab Emirates at the Gabba. Photograph: Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images

George Dockrell celebrates scoring the winning runs in Ireland’s two-wicket victory over the United Arab Emirates at the Gabba. Photograph: Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images

 
Cricket World Cup

yesterday.

It leaves Phil Simmons’s side third in the Pool B table behind a revived West Indies, who have played a game more, and unbeaten defending champions India, with all three sides on four points.

The most thrilling game of the tournament so far was a little too squeaky bum in the end at the famous Gabba ground as Ireland got home off the second ball of the final over.

It was left to number 10 batsman George Dockrell to hit the winning runs when he cleared the infield to run two and help his side pass the UAE’s 278 for nine.

The 22-year-old from Dublin showed little sign of nerves in the penultimate over when he walloped Amjad Javed’s fifth delivery over extra-cover to the boundary to bring the task down to just three runs and relieve pressure ahead of the final six deliveries.

When they get to break down the game, Ireland will know they dodged a bullet against a UAE side that again exposed Ireland’s struggles with the ball in the final 15 overs, as they plundered 147 runs in that spell.

Giant-killing

And luck also played its part as Ed Joyce was granted an amazing lifeline after he had made 16, when Javed’s fourth delivery clipped the side of the left-hander’s stumps. The impact dislodged Joyce’s off bail, but it returned into its groove, with Joyce pointing out his fortune to the umpire as the bowler celebrated with his team-mates.

Joyce was also the benefactor of a number of let-offs as the UAE’s poor throwing let them down in the heat of battle, but the Sussex captain failed to really cash in , with Javed finally getting his man when Joyce edged behind for 37.

Skipper William Porterfield also hit 37 before being bowled by his opposite number Mohmmad Tauqir, and when the off-spinner trapped Niall O’Brien for 17, Ireland were reduced to 97 for four in the 26th over.

Holding out for a hero

It was the also the number 6 batsman that came up trumps for Ireland, as Gary Wilson made a wonderful 80 from 69 deliveries, sharing in a consolidating fifth-wicket stand of 74 with Andrew Balbirnie (30) that left Ireland needing 108 from the 68 balls going down the stretch.

If Wilson provided the glue, it was Kevin O’Brien that brought the spark required as he opened his shoulders from the get-go.

He survived a dropped catch from sub fielder Nasir Aziz on 24 and went on to a 24-ball half-century thanks to two huge sixes in three deliveries before holing out next ball with Ireland still requiring 36 from 32 balls.

Wilson survived an lbw referral by a whisker on 72 to hit two more vital boundaries before falling to a brilliant catch by Javed at third man off Mohammad Naveed, but Dockrell and Queensland-born Alex Cusack got Ireland home with four deliveries to spare.

Purpose

“Within the games, it’s some of the best feelings I’ve had in terms of it’s cool, calm, collected feeling right throughout the chase, and that’s what we were after and how we play our cricket,” said the captain.

“We were still out there in the last 20 overs today, even though the rate was getting up over 10s at one point or getting close to 10s. That’s a great feeling to have within the changing-room, that you’ve got 100 per cent backing from in there, and lads are calling what’s going to happen before it happens on the pitch.

“That’s a great place to be in my opinion, for a dressing-room to be. I’m happy with both wins and how we’ve gone about them.”

Kevin O’Brien will leave Brisbane today a little lighter of pocket after being hit with a fine of 30 per cent of his match fee for “showing dissent at an umpire’s decision” after being called for a wide off the first ball of the 48th over.

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