BRISBANE, Feb 24 (PTI): High on confidence after their stunning win against the West Indies, giant-killers Ireland will look to continue the momentum when they lock horns with United Arab Emirates in a Group B match of the cricket World Cup here tomorrow. Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien has already warned his side that the win over the West Indies will “mean nothing” if they don’t see off the UAE at the Gabba.
Porterfield (left) and Tauqir
A victory against their fellow Associate team would leave Ireland on the brink of a quarterfinal berth. In their tournament opener, the Irish posted a rather comfortable win over two-time winners West Indies, chasing down a 300-plus total with four wickets to spare in Nelson on February 16. Several members of the Ireland side play for English county teams and they will look to the likes of Middlesex’s Paul Stirling, who scored 92 against the West Indies, and Sussex’s Ed Joyce, who scored 84, to carry on from where they left off. In that match, Somerset left-arm spinner George Dockrell took three for 50.
Ireland and the UAE have met several times in low-rung ICC competitions in recent years and all-rounder O’Brien was impressed by the way the side nearly pulled off an upset before losing to Zimbabwe by four wickets in their opening Pool B match. “They really pushed Zimbabwe and it was only very good batting performances from Sean Williams and Craig Ervine that got Zimbabwe over the line,” O’Brien said.
The UAE have some decent middle-order batsmen such as Khurram Khan and Swapnil Patil besides bowlers, especially spinners, who have the ability to produce impressive spells. Leading a side made up of mainly expat players from India and Pakistan, UAE captain Mohammad Tauqir knows that his team had quite a few positives from the game against Zimbabwe. The batsmen performed well and the bowlers did a decent job.
Squads: Ireland (from): William Porterfield (capt), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Andrew McBrine, John Mooney, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, Max Sorensen, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Gary Wilson, Craig Young
UAE (from): Mohammad Tauqir (capt), Khurram Khan, Amjad Ali, Amjad Javed, Andri Berenger, Fahad Alhashmi, Manjula Guruge, Kamran Shazad, Krishna Chandran, Mohammad Naveed, Nasir Aziz, Swapnil Patil, Rohan Mustafa, Saqlain Haider, Shaiman Anwar.