Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)

Ireland beat UAE in T20 World Cup warm-up


Ireland bounced back from defeat earlier this week with a resounding victory over the UAE in Dubai yesterday.

An economical bowling performanc­e set up the Irishmen, winning by seven wickets in the first game of their World T20 warm-up series against the UAE.

Curtis Campher made the hosts’ decision to bat first look questionab­le with a double-wicket maiden in the sixth over, putting Ireland in a commanding position from which they never looked back.

Reeling at 26 for three at the end of the powerplay thanks largely to Campher’s efforts, it took a late innings mini-revival of 26 off the final two overs just to get the UAE up to a total of 123 for seven.

Despite the late flurry, Ireland would have been delighted with their performanc­e with the ball. Campher ended with the side’s best figures of three for 19, but Mark Adair and Ben White also chipped in with two wickets apiece. Josh Little’s economic four overs that only went for 19 also deserve mention.

Any nerves at chasing a low total were quickly dispelled as the opening pair of Paul Stirling and Kevin O’brien essentiall­y put the game to bed with a 90-run partnershi­p. It is the 11th time these two have put on 50 or more for the first wicket in T20 internatio­nals.

After somewhat unfortunat­ely smashing his second delivery against Scotland earlier this week straight to a fielder, Stirling had a welcome return to form, offering a reminder of his class – not that we needed it – with a knock of 53 from 46 deliveries that contained six fours and two maximums.

When O’brien fell for 46 the target sat at nine runs required off 10 balls, in theory an easy ask but the UAE had a sniff if they could pressure the new man to the crease. Campher, coming in at number five, soon quelled out any remaining doubts, hitting two quick boundaries to wrap up the victory with seven balls to spare.

Ireland will look to continue to build momentum ahead of the tournament as they take on the same opposition tomorrow at 6am Irish time.

UAE 123-7 (20 overss) (M Usman 35; C Campher 3-19, B White 2-24, M Adair 2-29) lost to Ireland 124-3 (20 overs) (P Stirling 53, K O’brien 46; B Hameed 3-20) by seven wickets.

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