CRICKET: Ireland remain in control of InterContinental Cup clash against UAE

Ireland's George Dockrell
Ireland's George Dockrell
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Ireland remain in control of their ICC InterContinental Cup clash with the UAE despite a much improved performance by the visitors on the second day at Malahide.

Fifteen wickets tumbled in complete contrast to the first day, when the bat totally dominated the ball.

Resuming on 420 for 3, Ed Joyce added just two to his overnight 229, before being trapped lbw by Amjad Javed.

Andrew Balbirnie (10) was dismissed in exactly the same manner, and when Gary Wilson (2) and John Mooney (0) went cheaply, Ireland had lost four wickets for the addition of just 11 runs.

Kevin O’Brien (29) and George Dockrell (22*) shared a brief but entertaining stand of 35 for the eighth wicket as Ireland were dismissed just before lunch for 492.

Amjad Javed (4-117) was the pick of the Emiratis attack, with two wickets apiece for Muhammad Naveed (2-75), Fayyaz Ahmed (2-85) and skipper Mohammed Tauqir (2-104).

Openers Asid Iqbal and Amjad Ali survived a new ball burst by Craig Young and Tim Murtagh, before Ali pulled John Mooney to Murtagh at midwicket for a dogged one from 31 deliveries.

Iqbal (43) and Saqib Ali (27) added 57 before Craig Young (3-46) removed both in quick succession just before the tea interval.

Swapnil Patil (30) and the vastly experienced Khurram Khan (24) shared another half-century stand, but they too fell shortly after one another, with John Mooney (3-36) accounting for both.

Left-arm spinner George Dockrell (2-47) got in the act dismissing Fayyaz Ahmed (3) and Mohammed Tauqir (0), with Amjad Javed (7) falling to Young inbetween.

At 162 for eight, it seemed as if the Irish would wrap up the first innings before the close of play, but a determined unbroken ninth wicket partnership of 45 halted them in their tracks.

Shaiman Anwar was chiefly responsible for the late resistance, reaching an unbeaten 52 from 82 balls (8 fours, 1 six) when stumps were pulled.

Anwar of course scored a century against Ireland in their epic World Cup clash in Brisbane earlier this year.

He found a willing ally in Muhammad Naveed (13*) as UAE reached 207 for eight - still 136 runs away from saving the follow-on.

With an uncertain weather forecast for Friday, Ireland will be determined to try and clinch the win on Thursday but it won’t be easy against the resilient UAE batting.

ICC INTERCONTINENTAL CUP

At Malahide, Day 2 of 4

IRELAND 492 (118.3 overs, E Joyce 231, P Stirling 146, K O’Brien 29, G Dockrell 22*, Amjad Javed 4-117)

UAE 207-8 (69 overs, Shaiman Anwar 52*, Asif Iqbal 43, Swapnil Patil 30, Saqib Ali 27, Khurram Khan 24, J Mooney 3-36, C Young 3-46, G Dockrell 2-47)

Play continues Thursday at 11am.