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08-Jan-2021 15:55:00 GMT
UAE vs Ire - 1st ODI, Abu Dhabi

Usman, Rizwan centuries take UAE past Ireland

United Arab Emirates 270 for 4 (Rizwan 109, Usman 102*, Campher 2-31) beat Ireland 269 for 5 (Stirling 131, Balbirnie 53, Mustafa 2-43) by six wickets

Abu Dhabi: Paul Stirling hit 131 as Ireland fell to a six-wicket defeat by the United Arab Emirates in their first one-day international in Abu Dhabi.

Stirling's ton and a 53 from captain Andrew Balbirnie helped Ireland set a chase of 269.

Barry McCarthy took two early UAE wickets to keep Ireland on top.

However centuries by Chundangapoyil Rizwan and Muhammaed Usman turned the game on its head as the UAE ground Ireland down to win by six wickets.

In their first ODI since a famous victory over England in August, opener Stirling continued where he left off by hitting a century for a second successive ODI match.

Kevin O'Brien was the first man to fall for 23 balls after being bowled by Kashif Daud, however it was the stand between Stirling and Balbirnie which set Ireland up for a strong score.

The Ireland captain made his 10th ODI half-century before he was dismissed for 53 after being caught by teenage wicketkeeper Aravind.

Harry Tector and Lorcan Tucker were dismissed in quick succession by Rohan Mustafa with scores of six and four respectively before Curtis Campher was caught by Mustafa for 24 off Palaniapan Meiyappan's delivery.

However Gareth Delaney and centurion Stirling held out for a 50-run partnership to take Ireland to the end of their innings with 269.

The UAE's response at the crease was met by an in-form McCarthy, who dismissed Farid and Aravind for a combined 29 runs between the home openers.

Tucker caught Alishan Sharafu, who hit one run off nine balls, after Campher's delivery to improve Ireland's chances, however an impressive stand by Rizwan and Usman began to put Ireland under pressure as the bowlers started to falter in the Abu Dhabi sun.

Rizwan collected his maiden ODI century and Usman pitched in with 86 as the UAE, who had never beaten Ireland in the ODI format, required 43 runs from the final five overs.

The hosts attempted some big shots to the boundary in an attempt to reduce the run rate, a tactic which saw Rizwan caught by Tector off Campher, however his replacement Waheed Ahmed and Usman began to bring the margin down.

Ahmed hit successive boundaries to put the UAE in control of the match and the excellent Usman brought up his century with the runs to bring the hosts level before he hit the deciding run with six balls remaining.

The match was the first of four ODIs against the UAE before Ireland turn their attention to three World Cup qualifiers against Afghanistan at the end of January.

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