Almost there…

The United Arab Emirates felt the full force of Irish cricketing wrath in Johannesburg today. After a loss to Afghanistan on Saturday described by coach Phil Simmons as “complacent” a reaction was likely and it arrived in the form of Ireland’s bowling attack. Boyd Rankin and Peter Connell tore into the UAE top order to leave them reeling at 3-3 and despite an effective rearguard from Fayyaz Ahmed the batting never recovered. Regan West took 3 wickets and Rankin, Connell and Johnston bagged 2 each as UAE were dismissed for 133 with more than 10 overs still available. Porterfield and Wilson will have been grateful to spend some time in the middle and regain a little confidence given their recent below-par form. An opening stand of 83 put the game beyond doubt and the remaining runs were knocked off routinely for the loss of only one further wicket. One more win is required for absolute certainty of World Cup qualification but it’s by no means a formality as the penultimate Super-8 game is against the in-form Dutch on Wednesday.

Match Summary UAE 133 (39.3 ov) Ahmed 63; West 3-39 Ireland 134-2 (27.4 ov) Wilson 49 Ireland win by 8 wicketsIn other news Afghanistan were brought back down to earth with a bump after Canada chased down 265 for a 6 wicket victory in Pretoria; Scotland were beaten by Kenya and defeat to the Afghans on Wednesday will surely put them out; Holland strengthened their ambitions with a win over rock bottom Namibia and are in a good position. Ireland and Canada will surely qualify; Afghanistan and Namibia are surely out – the last two places are very much up for grabs.

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