Ed Joyce Century Guides Ireland to Victory Over UAE in Dubai

January 11th 2018 | International

Ed Joyce Century Guides Ireland to Victory Over UAE in Dubai

A magnificent partnership of 131 between centurion Ed Joyce and Gary Wilson dug Ireland out of a tight spot to ultimately defeat UAE by 4 wickets in the first senior men’s competitive match of 2018.

Despite losing both the in-form Paul Stirling and Andy Balbirnie for nought inside 3 overs, Joyce began the rebuilding of the innings alongside skipper William Porterfield (28).

When Porterfield departed, Ireland were 46 for 3 and after Niall O’Brien and Kevin O’Brien both returned to the dressing room with low scores, the score was 91 for 5 at the start of the 23rd over.

That merely brought Wilson and Joyce together and they set about chasing the target down. Not only did they build their partnership, they paced the innings perfectly drawing level with the UAE score with eight balls remaining. “It is difficult to hit the straps straight away when you’ve been indoors and coming out of our winter,” said Joyce. “So it’s great to get the win and back up the series win against Afghanistan in Sharjah and hopefully keep that streak going.”

Pacing the innings so well, Joyce had hit boundaries to all corners, 12 at that point and one maximum in bringing up his 6th ODI century. Wilson brought up his 50 off 83 balls, hitting 3 boundaries. The shame was that he fell with the scores level and just one required.

However, perhaps deservedly, Joyce was able to secure the 4-wicket victory with his 13th boundary to finish on 116 not out and deliver the match-winning innings.

Earlier, wickets for all five bowlers had set up the chase by restricting UAE to 222/9 off their 50 overs. Boyd Rankin (2-26) was the most economical bowler before returning to take two wickets in his final over, the 49th, including a caught and bowled effort to dismiss top-scorer Rameez Shahzad for 75.

Barry McCarthy continued his good form from before Christmas in taking 2-47 while Kevin O’Brien also took 2 wickets off his 10 over quota. The fifth Irish bowler used was George Dockrell and he too got among the wickets, taking 1-51 off his ten.

As well as the bowlers performed, this was Joyce’s day however. His century also brought up 10,000 List A runs. “I didn’t know about the 10,000 List A runs,” said Joyce, “but yeah it feels pretty good. I loved getting the hundred, I felt in great nick going into the game and physically good.”

Coming in with Ireland 5/2 his magnificent 116 not out guided Ireland to victory in the first match of the Tri-Nation Series that also features Scotland.

Ireland’s next match is against UAE on Saturday January 13th at 9.30am (5.30am Irish time)

UAE v Ireland, 1st Tri-Nations Series ODI, Dubai, January 11th, 2018

Ireland won by 4 wickets
UAE 222/9 (50 overs) Shahzad 75, Boota 37, Ahmed 35; Boyd Rankin 2-26, Kevin O’ Brien 2-39, Barry McCarthy2 2-47
Ireland 226/6 (49.2 overs) Ed Joyce24 116*, Gary Wilson 53, William Porterfield 28; Naveed 2-45