Ireland reach the Desert T20 semi-finals after UAE win
The team have won two of their three matches in the tournament14:20 Wednesday 18 January 2017, 14:20 18 Jan 2017
Ireland qualified for the semi-finals of the Desert T20 with a comfortable 24 run win against hosts UAE at the Dubai International Stadium.
An efficient all-round display saw a much improved Ireland post 160 for 6 and then restrict the Emiratis to 136/7 in reply.
The Irish total included no fewer than 8 sixes - having failed to clear the ropes in their two previous games in the tournament.
Top scorer Kevin O'Brien hit three of those on his way to quickfire 40 from just 27 balls, while Paul Stirling (39) and Gary Wilson (26) also hit two maximums.
Stirling dominated the early overs scoring 39 of the first 52 runs after both Stuart Poynter and skipper William Porterfield fell cheaply.
The crucial stand for the 'Boys In Green' came from O'Brien and Wilson, who shared a fourth wicket partnership of 53 in just 33 balls to shift the momentum decisively in Ireland's favour.
Greg Thompson (17) and Andy McBrine (14*) both chipped in as Ireland made their highest T20 total since June 2015.
Boyd Rankin (3-16) blew away any hopes the UAE entertained of chasing the total as he took three wickets in a fiery opening spell.
Further wickets for Craig Young and Kevin O'Brien reduced the hosts to 21 for 5 to effectively end the match as a contest.
Leg-spinner Jacob Mulder then got in on the action taking 2 for 20 as the hosts limped to 77 for 7.
A late surge by skipper Amjad Javed who clubbed 5 sixes in an entertaining unbeaten 47 made the result seem much closer than it was.
Javed added an unbroken 59 from just 26 balls in an 8th wicket stand with Mohammed Naveed (25*), but it was all too little, too late for his team.
Ireland won't know their semi-final opponents until Thursday, with The Netherlands, Scotland and Oman vying for the two semi-final slots from Group B.
Ireland 160/6 (20 overs; K O'Brien 40, P Stirling 39, G Wilson 26, G Thompson 17, Amjad Javed 2-16, Zahoor Ahmed 2-27)
UAE 136/7 (20 overs; Amjad Javed 47*, Mohammed Naveed 25*, Mohammad Usman 24, B Rankin 3-16, J Mulder 2-20)
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