12 February 2007

Ireland secured their place in the Inter Continental Cup Final for the second successive year with a comprehensive victory over the UAE in Abu Dhabi.

Kyle McCallanAfter posting a record 532 in the first innings, they bowled their hosts out for 243 and 118 to claim victory by an innings and 170 runs.

Eoin Morgan and Andre Botha set the platform for victory on the opening two days, as they added 363 for the 4th wicket. Botha scored 157, his highest for his adopted country but it Middlesex youngster Morgan wrote re-wrote the history books. He became the first Irishman to score a double hundred and in the process, went past Ivan Anderson’s 34 year-old record of 198 not out.

However, in such batsman friendly conditions the bowlers must take a lot of credit and captain Trent Johnston showed a welcome return to form. Kyle McCallan bowled a marathon 27 overs in the first innings and finished with the very creditable match figures of 35-12-69-3.

Big Boyd Rankin from Bready finally made his mark on the tour with 4 second innings wickets, a massive boost for both Ireland and the North-West ahead of the World Cup.

Ireland will now face Canada in the final, looking for revenge for the recent WCL defeat, at a venue TBC on a date TBC, probably somewhere in the south of England in May.

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