Tri-series record helps Ireland gear up for ICC World Cup qualifiers

ANI | Updated: Jan 24, 2018 20:03 IST

Dubai [UAE], Jan 24 (ANI): Ireland has made a thumping start to their preparations for qualifying in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup by winning the tri-series against Scotland and UAE in Dubai.

The six-match series at the ICC Academy provided game-time for Ireland and Scotland ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018, which will begin from March 4 in Zimbabwe, and for the UAE in preparation for the ICC World Cricket League Division 2, which will be staged in Namibia from February 8.

Ireland head coach Graham Ford said, "During the tri-series, the lads made good progress with most of the batsmen finding good form. It was particularly pleasing to see the top order converting starts into big match winning scores".

"It was good to come away with four victories, however, the lads do realise that there is still plenty of hard work to be done and that they will have to be at their best to enjoy success at the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier which will be a highly competitive event", he added.

Ireland completed a clean-sweep of the matches, defeating the UAE in their first two matches by four wickets and 67 runs, respectively. Continuing that form, Ireland defeated Scotland by six wickets and 24 runs in matches three and four, respectively.

For Ireland, it provided an opportunity for a number of different batsmen to make match-winning scores. Ed Joyce led the team to a four-wicket victory against the UAE in the first match with 116 not out from 149 balls and was supported by Gary Wilson (53).

In the second match against the UAE, a stunning 201-run second wicket partnership between captain William Porterfield, who scored 139 runs from 147 balls, and Andrew Balbirnie, who 102 runs from 109 balls, set-up a 67-run victory. With the ball, Kevin O'Brien ensured victory as he took four wickets for 41 runs.

Andrew Balbirnie continued his form in match three against Scotland, scoring 67 runs from 55 balls and Boyd Rankin secured three wickets for 49 runs to claim a six-wicket victory. In Ireland's final match, Paul Stirling top scored with 74 runs from 88 balls as Ireland beat Scotland by 24 runs and secured a clean sweep. (ANI)