Ireland in UAE, 4 ODI Series, 2021
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Date & Time: 08 January 2021
RR: 5.51 | United Arab Emirates beat Ireland by 6 wickets
Okay! We didn't expect that, did we? United Arab Emirates have pulled off a stunning win over Ireland in the first of this 4-match ODI series. Will the feeling sink in before Sunday? Can they take this momentum into the second ODI? Or will Ireland come roaring back? Join us on 10th January, 2021, from 9.30 am local (0530 GMT). ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
Victorious UAE skipper, AHMED RAZA, says that it was in UAE's mind that they have not beaten Ireland in this format and is simply thrilled with the result. Lauds Muhammad Usman and Chundangapoyil Rizwan for batting with responsibility, putting the bad balls away and taking minimum risks. On UAE's mentality with Ireland's score at 141/1, Ahmed says that they came back well in the middle overs but lost the plot towards the end, brutally assessing that they should have been chasing not more than 240! Hopes to do better on Sunday. Expects the senior bowlers to take the responsibility but gives plenty of praise for debutant Kashif Daud. Says that it is good to go 1-up and dedicates this win to his late father who passed away recently.
Irish captain, ANDY BALBIRNIE, bluntly says that Ireland were 20-30 runs short with the bat. Puts it down to rustiness and feels that they could have been more proactive with the bat. Credits UAE for planning the run chase well. Feels that UAE bowled well and the Irish batsmen found it difficult to get the ball away or score quickly. On Paul Stirling's knock, Andy calls him world class and also the best batsman of the side, striving hard for success. On UAE being 51/3, AB says that they felt they were bowling well but honestly admits that they could not maintain the pressure. Add that they will sit down and discuss how to improve with both bat and ball. Also says that they want to win games but also want to give some expousre to young players.
CHUNDANGAPOYIL RIZWAN HAS BEEN NAMED THE PLAYER OF THE MATCH. Rizwan is happy that his maiden hundred could lead UAE to a win. Thanks the management for supporting his side to allow them to prepare for this series and adds that all those preparations bore fruit. Stresses that the plan between himsefl and Muhammad Usman was to play 50 overs, with the belief that they can win. Admits that he was losing steam due to the heat but adds that Usman kept on encouraging him. Cheekily admits that during the lockdown, his wife used to give throwdowns to him and thanks his family for their immense support.
Muhammad Usman is up for a chat. Says that it is always good to be winning the first match, with batsmen scoring centuries. Praises his side for restricting Ireland under 300. On his batting partnership with Chundangapoyil Rizwan, Usman admits that the latter was a touch slow, so the plan was to attack at some point of time and take the pressure of Rizwan. Is confident of taking Ireland down in the coming games as well.
Ahh... well... Ireland. What did they do wrong? Ummm... perhaps did not read the stats page before coming for the toss. History has favoured the side chasing in day games at this venue, yet they chose to bat. Then, they lost their way through a collapse in the middle with the bat, falling perhaps 20-30 runs short. Paul Stirling was brilliant but he needed more from the top order. Then, in the field, on a good batting deck, their bowlers could not find much response. And their fielders did not support them. Catches dropped, run outs missed, they were very average. They will aim to do much better, come Sunday. Please stay tuned for the presentation...
The partnership for the 4th wicket was worth 184, which was nearly 70 percent of the required target! Both batsmen got to their centuries, survived a few close calls on the way but importantly, got the team through. Both players complemented each other nicely, taking on the mantle when the other was struggling. And towards the end, Waheed Ahmed came out and played a fine cameo, brushing aside all kinds of fears of a possible collapse. A day to remember and a win to savour.
Take a bow, Usman. Take a bow, Rizwan. Two experienced guys have shocked Ireland. UAE were chasing a high target, 270 and were in the doldrums, at 51/3. But in came Chundangapoyil Rizwan and Muhammad Usman. The duo bided its time and then increased the run rate as the game went deep.
The ball seems to be lost somewhere beneath the covers. Frantically explored, are those covers. The umpires call for a spare ball instead.
Craig Young returns. 8-0-49-0 so far.
Bowling change. Or not. McCarthy continues.
Who walks in now? Waheed Ahmed walks in.
DIRECT HIT! Has this partnership been broken? Nope. Rizwan is home.
Curtis Campher to bowl out. 9-0-23-1 so far.
Curtis Campher is back on. 8-0-18-1 so far.
Andy McBrine is back on. 7-0-36-0 so far.
Craig Young returns. 6-0-33-0 so far.
Mark Adair is back on. 4-0-22-0 so far.
Curtis Campher is back on. 5-0-8-1 so far.
Seems like Rizwan is hurt. The impact of the previous ball could have been on the left knee. The physio and the magic spray come out. That hit Usman right above the knee roll. And it seems like he is cramping up as well. The umpires have taken the opportunity to call for a quick DRINKS BREAK. Have to admit, UAE have surprised us. They have made a good fist of this target and come within touching distance of getting Ireland worried. Still a long way to go, with 120 more needed but they have at least got some hope.
Change of pace. Barry McCarthy returns. 5-1-16-2 so far.
Gareth Delany comes in to bowl his leg breaks now.
Been a long time! Finally, Mark Adair comes into the attack.
We have a bit of a delay as there is no one to get the ball.
DRINKS BREAK. Ireland well on top here. They are taking wickets at regular intervals and keeping the UAE in check.
We have a run out appeal! Is this close? Nope. Looks safe, does Rizwan.
The experienced Muhammad Usman walks in next, at number 5, replacing Sharafu.
Craig Young gets a change of ends. 4-0-25-0 so far.
In walks the debutant, Alishan Sharafu. Curtis Campher comes into the attack now.
Chundangapoyil Rizwan walks in at number 3, replacing Aravind.
Barry McCarthy to bowl with the second new ball.