O'Brien fires Ireland to win

Niall O’Brien top-scored with 46 off 43 balls as Ireland improved their hopes of reaching the ICC World Twenty20 today with a win over United Arab Emirates in Dubai.

Niall O’Brien top-scored with 46 off 43 balls as Ireland improved their hopes of reaching the ICC World Twenty20 today with a win over United Arab Emirates in Dubai.

The Irish won their opening match in the Super Fours by 22 runs, after captain William Porterfield won the toss and chose to bat.

Porterfield and O’Brien put on 29 for the opening wicket and there were decent contributions down the order as Alex Cusack, Trent Johnston, Kevin O’Brien and John Mooney all hit double figures before Gary Johnson added some late impetus with 19 from just seven deliveries.

The total of 152 for seven was always going to test UAE – and their cause was not helped as they slipped to 17 for three, with Wilson holding on to two catches.

UAE’s reply was built around Saqib Ali but when he was seventh out with the score on 116, having hit 63 from 49 deliveries, they faced an uphill battle.

And the home effort ended with the first ball of the final over, with the score on 130.

Cusack led the way with the ball for Ireland, taking three wickets for 19 runs, while Andre Botha joined Connell in taking two.

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