All-round Ireland seals series 2-0

After an all-round bowling effort restricted United Arab Emirates to a modest total, William Porterfield and Andy Balbirnie scored brisk half-centuries to lead Ireland to a sweep of the two-match One-Day International series in Dubai's ICC Global Academy on Saturday (March 4).

UAE mustered 202 all out in 47.5 overs, and Ireland reached the target in 41.5 overs with eight wickets in the bag.

Porterfield and Paul Stirling, the openers, put on 94 runs before the latter was caught off Imran Haider for 41 in the 21st over. Balbirnie then accompanied the skipper in a 57-run stand, all but sealing UAE's fate. Porterfield was bowled by Zahoor Khan for 76, another substantial score following his century in the first ODI.

By the time Porterfield was out though, Ireland already had 151 on the board in 32.1 overs, and needed only 52 more with plenty of overs to get it in.

Balbirnie and Niall O’Brien knocked off the winning runs, the former ending with 58 not out off 67, while O’Brien, the wicketkeeper, had 18 off 25 to his name.

In the first half, UAE had a bumpy start after choosing to bat. Andy McBrine and Craig Young reduced them to 43 for 3 in 8.3 overs. Shaiman Anwar (48) and Rameez Shahzad (41) then revived the innings with a 76-run partnership but George Dockrell, the offspinner, removed both, reducing UAE to 145 for 5.

UAE was unable to build partnerships after that and was finally bowled out for 202 in 47.5 overs. Young and McBrine took three wickets apiece, while Dockrell and Jacob Mulder had two each.

In the first ODI, Ireland had triumphed by 85 runs after Porterfield’s hundred and Dockrell’s miserly 3 for 27.