19 March 2014

The lights went out in Sylhet, but Ireland stayed on course to win their group and qualify for the final stages of the Twenty20 World Cup.


The end was full of drama as two power failures left everyone in darkness and opened up all sorts of possible remedies, but it was the rain that had the final say and caused the umpires to abandon play. Duckworth Lewis then stepped in and Ireland went comfortably through by 21 runs.

  Earlier the United Arab Emirates batsmen gave the Irish bowlers a torrid time in the opening overs power-play and at one stage looked likely to post a commanding score. But the bowlers held their nerve and some tight bowling from Tim Murtagh, Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien proved crucial. Indeed all the pace bowlers bowled well including Cusack who had a tough time against Zimbabwe. UAE where restricted to 123-6 in their 20 overs and this was always within Ireland’s reach.

  Once again skipper William Porterfield and Stirling got us off to a fine start, but an elbow injury forced Stirling to retire and Ed Joyce took over. Joyce batted superbly for his 43, but he caught out close to the finish again and the nerves got to O’Brien and Poynter who followed quickly afterwards. Porterfield (33no) proved the mainstay and although the lights and the rain brought a premature end Ireland were never going to lose.

  Joyce was named Man-of-the Match and all roads now lead to Friday’s exchange with Holland who lost to Zimbabwe. A number of permutations are possible, but the one that matters most is straightforward. If Ireland win they are through!

  Go for it boys!

Clarence Hiles


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