A brilliant maiden half-century, followed by a maiden five wicket haul in one-day internationals by Simi Singh led Ireland to a comprehensive 112-run win over UAE to square the series 1-1.
The off-spinning allrounder first starred with the bat, striking an unbeaten 57-ball 54 – his first ODI fifty – before running through the hosts’ batting line-up with an exceptional haul of 5-10, his maiden ODI five-for.
Such a monstrous victory seemed unlikely in the early stages of the matches, after Ireland were reduced to 10-3 inside the first five overs; Zahoor Khan’s new-ball burst accounted for skipper Andrew Balbirnie and Paul Stirling, while Kashif Daud removed Kevin O’Brien for 2.
Harry Tector and Lorcan Tucker led a recovery with a vital 72-run partnership, but both fell with Ireland yet to put up three figures on the board.
Nonetheless, Curtis Campher continued his remarkable start to life in international cricket, joining Singh for 91-run partnership and working his way to a third-half century in just his fourth ODI innings.
At the other end Singh made his runs rapidly, bringing up his half-century from 56 balls, with his innings including two sixes and two fours. A handy cameo from Gareth Delany (15 off 8) took Ireland to 228-6 from their 50 overs, a strong total considering the blows they’d encountered at the start of the innings.
At 46-0, inside the opening 10 overs, the UAE got off to a bright start through Zawar Farid and Vriitya Aravind, but Singh burst through, pouncing on the mistakes of the batsmen.
He took out the UAE’s top three in almost identical fashion: on all three occasions, the batsmen looked to go big on the leg-side but holed out, with Singh’s blows leaving them on 50-3. It was soon 51-4 when Basil Hameed’s attempted cut resulted in an edge that Tucker held on to behind the stumps. In the 22nd over, Singh took his and Ireland’s fifth, getting the ball to straighten from around the wicket to leave Muhammad Usman leg before wicket.
From there, the supporting cast went to work, with O’Brien, Andy McBrine and Delany all picking up a wicket each, while a couple of run-outs helped Ireland bowl the UAE out for just 116.
Ireland will now face Afghanistan on Thursday in the first of three World Cup Super League matches.
UAE Men v Ireland Men, 2nd ODI, Abu Dhabi, 18 January 2021
Ireland 228-6 (50 overs; C Campher 56, S Singh 54*; Z Khan 3-35)
UAE 116 (36 overs; Z Farid 28; S Singh 5-10)
Ireland won by 112 runs.
Image courtesy: Cricket Ireland.