About the Match
Ireland took a 1-0 lead in the ODI series against hosts UAE by winning the first ODI by a massive 85 runs; the two teams will now lock horns in the 2nd ODI at Dubai on 4th March. Posting 270 runs batting first, the visitors set a tall target and then went on to defend it successfully. The hosts will be determined to draw level with a win in the upcoming match and we could see a better performance; it needs to be seen if they can hold their nerves together and bounce back here on Friday.
United Arab Emirates
It was a sensational bowling performance by fast-bowler Zahoor Khan, who picked up 6 wickets for just 34 runs in less than 7 overs, that kept the visitors at 270 all-out in the first ODI. Medium pacer Mohammad Naveed also put up a brilliant effort, taking 3-40 while others like Amjad Javed and spinner Rohan Mustafa supported well with an economical show. The squad also has spinners like Ahmed Reza and Imran Haider, who add depth to the attack and can try to outwit Ireland here.
While chasing the 270-run target, the batting line-up faltered and they were unable to build steady partnerships. Rohan Mustafa and Ahmed Raza fought hard by posting 40+ runs each but the others failed to impress, and were all-out for just 185. Players like Shaiman Anwar, Mohammad Naveed, Adnan Mufti and Rameez Shahzad could perform better and try to stabilize the innings in the middle.
Overall, the hosts have good resources to make a comeback here provided they manage to keep their wickets safe against the Irish pace.
William Porterfield led from the front as he scored a gigantic 100 off 116 balls, helping the visitors set up 270 runs batting first. The experienced batsman hit a six and as many as 8 boundaries to keep the scoreboard ticking; he got good support from Kevin O’ Brien, who posted a well-made 69, Niall O’ Brien and Gary Wilson in the middle order. They have a strong batting unit with players like Paul Stirling, Andy Balbirnie and others in the middle order, who can try to post a stiff challenge while batting first or chase a target convincingly.
Defending 270, the spinners found quick breakthroughs and demolished the UAE fightback. Dockrell put up a superb spell as he took 3-27, being the most economical of the lot while Andy McBrine contributed with 2-35 and helped dismiss Anwar through a run-out. Speedsters Chase, Thompson and Young claimed 4 wickets between them to keep the pressure on the hosts and win the match by 85 runs.
The victory has boosted their morale and they will try to come out with all their firepower yet again to take the series.
Ireland has proved to be a formidable force to reckon with here and their all-round effort with bat and ball makes them clear favourites to win the upcoming match and take the series in a 2-0 whitewash.