#CWC15: Wilson 80 leads Ireland across Afghanistan line - just!

MATCH 16: A superb 80 from Gary Wilson led Ireland to a tense two wicket win over United Arab Emirates at the Gabba.

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A maiden international century for Shaiman Anwar had taken the UAE so close to their maiden World Cup points.

Wilson had rescued Ireland from a precarious 97 for four, but was out with just 12 runs needed to ensure a tense climax.

Kevin O’Brien smashed a brutal 24-ball 50 as he shared 72 for the sixth wicket with Wilson before holing out. George Dockrell however, ensured it was Ireland who claimed a vital win in Pool B as they chased down UAE’s 278 for nine.

“Bit closer than you would want, but you take a win any day of the week,” said Ireland captain Will Porterfield after the match. “Wickets in hand is a huge thing in this format, particularly with the likes of Wilson and Kevin O’Brien still there. We managed to restrict them first up with the ball, but with the bat, we played brilliantly from Over 30 onwards.”

Ireland won the toss and the UAE found things far from plain sailing early on as Andri Berenger and Amjad Ali struggling to find their timing in the powerplay overs.

Paul Stirling removed Berenger before adding the wicket of Krishna Chandran shortly after.


Gary Wilson on his way to a match winning 80

Khurram Khan and Ali attempted to steady the ship, but scoring proved to be difficult and the run-rate dropped dramatically.

Ali and Swapnil Patil fell in quick succession, and by the time Khurram went for 36, UAE were struggling at 131 for six in the 35th over.

Anwar joined with Amjad Javed at the crease to pile on 107 in just shy of 12 overs to boost the score to 278 for nine at the end of the innings, with Anwar reaching UAE’s first World Cup century, and only the second in its history, his 106 from 83 balls. It was a World Cup record seventh wicket partnership of 107 in 11.5 overs with both men surpassing their previous ODI bests.

The dangerous Stirling fell in the second over of the Ireland reply, but Ed Joyce and captain Will Porterfield added 68 to put the innings back on track.


Shaiman Anwar celebrates the UAE’s first World Cup century

Joyce was handed a huge reprieve as Javed appeared to have bowled him on 16, with a bail lifting after the stumps were hit but settling back in its groove. Even the stump lights shone, but the batsman remained.

He had no such luck second time around, edging Javed through to Patil for 37, before his skipper soon followed him back to the changing rooms for the same score.

Niall O’Brien was trapped in front after making 17, forcing Andrew Balbirnie and Wilson to rescue the situation.

After Balbirnie went for a composed 30, it was left to Wilson and Kevin O’Brien to take Ireland close.

When they came together they required 108 to win from 68 balls and Wilson on 43 off 46.

The UAE began to get jittery as the partnership developed.

O’Brien was dropped at long-on and would hit 8 fours and 2 sixes, but fell to a slower ball from Javed.

Ireland needed 36 from 32 balls, Wilson survived a close review of a turned down lbw appeal, Mooney fell and Wilson was well caught at short third man.


Dockrell eventually hit the winning runs with just four balls and two wickets remaining to deny UAE their maiden World Cup win.

“The knock by Shaiman Anwar was superb, and to go from 130/6 to 280 was credit to him,” said UAE skipper Tauqir. “We bowled well with the ball for the first 35 overs, but then there was the dew, which made the ball wet. It was a good batting wicket throughout.”

The UAE have now come extremely close, but remain perpetual bridesmaids. Ireland however, march on with two wins in their opening pair of matches and a realistic chance of a quarter-final berth beckoning of they can continue to play this attacking brand of cricket.

All-in-all this game was a great advert for the affiliate nations the ICC seems determined to exclude from future tournaments.

If you want to see the likes of Ireland, UAE, Scotland and Afghanistan in future World Cups tweet using the hashtag #14not10in2019. Let’s put some pressure on the games governing body to keep games like this and the giant killings we talk about long after many of the other matches between the major sides.

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James Buttler

James has been working as a journalist and broadcaster in cricket since 2006 and was an avid fan for many years before that.
As the editor of World Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
He is also the presenter of the Cricket Badger Radio Show on Radio Yorkshire every Tuesday evening between 7-9pm UK time.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author, a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications and a complete cricket badger!

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