The hosts United Arab Emirates was unable to stop the heroics of Ed Joyce and that helped Ireland to win the first game by 4 wickets. Both the teams meets each other once again in the Tri-Nation series on Saturday in Dubai. Will UAE breaks the losing streak against Ireland? Match 2 between UAE vs Ireland scheduled to start at 9:30 AM Local | 11 AM IST on Saturday, 13th January 2018.
The home team had a lot of ups and downs in the first game. The debutant opener Ashfaq Ahmed started his international career with a nice innings of 35 off 35 balls. But as other other top-order batsmen didn’t score runs quickly, UAE has reached 100 runs only in the 28th over. Batsman Rameez Shahzad top-scored with 75 off 111 balls while the other debutant Mohammad Boota has scored valuable 37 runs in the middle-overs of the innings. In the end UAE has posted a total of 222 runs for the loss of 9 wickets in 50 overs. The bowlers had a good start and took two big wickets in no time and also made half of Ireland side to walked-back for less than 100 runs. But, UAE bowlers failed to stop Ed Joyce and caused them to be on losing side in the end. Both debutants Ashfaq Ahmed and Mohammad Boota had a dream debut and made a point clear with their solid contributions with a bat. Ashfaq Ahmed will keep the place at top of the order and he will continue to open the innings along with his captain Rohan Mustafa. The experienced Mustafa failed to score runs and walked-back so early for only 2 runs. But the all-rounder did a good job with a ball and claimed 2 for 32 in his 10 overs spell. Mustafa generally contributes with an all-round efforts, he will come back hard with a bat in this game.
The wicket-keeper Ghulam Shabber and Muhammad Usman has a job to do in this game on Saturday. Both are well talented batsmen and have all potential to score big runs in this game. Rameez Shahzad brought in all his experiences in the last game. He may play another good innings against Ireland. The impressive Mohammad Boota will keep his place safe after his fine batting performances in the first game. Adnan Mufti started-off well with two quick boundaries, but he dismissed for 15 runs at crucial stage of the game. The most experienced bowler Mohammad Naveed has done a great job in the first power-play and surprised the opposition with two quick wickets in first few overs. Once again, he will play a big role in the UAE bowling department on Saturday. The other quickie Qadeer Ahmed was remained wicket-less once again in his ODI career, which may allow the leg spinner Imran Haider to play this game. Zahoor Khan and Ahmed Raza had bowled well in that game, but they have to do better job in this game. Zahoor Khan is the wicket-taking bowler, hopefully he will pick at least 3 wickets in this game. The most experienced Shaiman Anwar was not in the XI for the first game, chances are high for him to warm the bench once again.
The batting collapses in the chase of 223 runs hurt Ireland in the first half of batting innings. But, the veteran Ed Joyce took his team safely with an amazing ton and he got a company of another experienced middle-order batsman Gary Wilson who scored much needed half-century at crucial stage. Five men bowling attack with 3 pacers, left-arm spinner and the all-rounder Kevin O’Brien worked out well for the visitors in the first game. So, there is no need of change in bowling attack for this second game. The in-form opening batsman Paul Stirling shocked everyone with a third ball duck on other day. He had scored so many runs in last 2-3 months time, but had an one poor game on Wednesday. The all-rounder is expected to be back with an impressive all-round efforts in this game. The skipper William Porterfield started-off the innings with the way he always does. The consistent batsman has scored 28 runs off 31 balls in the last match. He is an architect of Ireland batting order, which means we can expect lot better show from him on Saturday. Andy Balbirnie’s poor run continued and he dismissed for duck off 9th ball he faced. He struggled against Afghanistan in the 3-match series last month and once again failed to score runs in this series opener too. These poor show may cause his place in the XI, if he is omitted then Ireland has two options in their bench. One is the wicket-keeping batsman Stuart Poynter and bowling all-rounder Andy McBrine is the other option.
Ed Joyce who made a return to international cricket for the first time in 8 months, made a point clear with an unbeaten match-winning century. In that well structured innings he scored 116 runs off 149 balls with 13 fours and a six. The 39-years old may come with another big innings in this game. O’Brien brothers had a tough time with a bat other day. First the wicket-keeper Niall O’Brien departed for only 4 runs and his brother, all-rounder Kevin followed him back to the pavilion with a score of 9 runs. Kevin O’Brien is the star all-rounder of the team and the explosive batsman struggling to score in recent times. Hopes for him to play with some all-round performances in this game. The experienced Gary Wilson has 12 half-centuries and a century in 86 matches ODI career and he had played a good handy innings in the last game. After that poor series against Afghanistan, Wilson came back strong with that fifty in the last game. The left-arm spinner George Dockrell had picked 1 for 51 runs in his 10 overs spell. It wasn’t his best performance and he could offer much better that that. We might witness lot better bowling show from him on Saturday. He also can bat when it needed for the team. The three men pace attack of Boyd Rankin, Peter Chase and Barry McCarthy worked out well in the first match. The wicket-taking bowler McCarthy claimed two early wickets in his first spell but failed to take more wickets in second spell. Hopefully, he will come with much more wickets in this game. Peter Chase was slightly expensive, but he knew the tricks to take wickets and he did that in the last match. The experienced Boyd Rankin had bowled so well and picked 2 for 26 with 3 maidens in his 10 overs. His heroics may continue if he is not rested for this game. In some case, Rankin is rested then Jacob Mulder will get a game.
KEY PLAYERS :
- Rohan Mustafa
- Muhammad Usman
- Ghulam Shabber
- Rameez Shahzad
- Zahoor Khan
- Mohammad Naveed
- William Porterfield
- Paul Stirling
- Ed Joyce
- Kevin O’Brien
- George Dockrell
- Barry McCarthy
POSSIBLE LINEUPS :
1. Rohan Mustafa, 2. Ashfaq Ahmed, 3. Ghulam Shabber, 4. Rameez Shahzad, 5. Muhammad Usman, 6. Mohammad Boota, 7. Adnan Mufti, 8. Mohammad Naveed, 9. Zahoor Khan, 10. Ahmed Raza, 11. Qadeer Ahmed / Imran Haider.
1. William Porterfield, 2. Paul Stirling, 3. Andy Balbirnie / Stuart Poynter, 4. Ed Joyce, 5. Niall O’Brien, 6. Kevin O’Brien, 7. Gary Wilson, 8. George Dockrell, 9. Barry McCarthy, 10. Peter Chase, 11. Boyd Rankin.