Singh stars as Ireland defeat UAE

Simi Singh’s unbeaten 54 helped Ireland’s innings recover after a dreadful start and he then produced sensational bowling figures of 5-10
Ireland 228-6 (50 overs): Campher 56, Singh 54*; Zahoor 3-35
UAE 116 (36 overs): Zawar 28; Singh 5-10
Ireland won by 112 runs
Scorecard

Simi Singh scored 54 not out and took 5-10 with the ball to help Ireland beat United Arab Emirates by 112 runs and draw the much-delayed ODI series 1-1.

The series was originally scheduled for four games in Abu Dhabi but the UAE were hit by multiple Covid-19 issues.

Ireland started slowly but Singh and Curtis Campher (56) rescued them from 10-3 to post a competitive 228-6.

UAE reached 45-0 after nine overs but spinner Singh’s five wickets saw the hosts collapse to 116 all out.

Singh’s performance with bat and ball – his 5-10 was the third most economical five-wicket haul in ODI history – earned him the man of the match award.

He took the first five wickets, aided by some dreadful batting, to leave UAE 64-5.

Kevin O’Brien took the next before any more runs had been scored. Gareth Delany and Andy McBrine took a wicket apiece and there were two run outs as Ireland completed a comprehensive victory.

Ireland face Afghanistan on Thursday

Ireland planned to use the four games as match practice for their three World Cup qualifiers against Afghanistan which are scheduled to begin at the same Abu Dhabi venue on Thursday.

In the event, they had to be content with just two matches as the Irish faced a UAE side who had been confined to their hotel rooms for more than a week because of seven positive Covid-19 tests in their camp.

Early on, it was the Irish that were exhibiting all the signs of rustiness as opener O’Brien lofted an easy catch to Waheed Ahmed before Paul Stirling’s edge to wicketkeeper Vriitya Aravind was followed by skipper Andrew Balbirnie holing out at cover to CP Rizwan in the fifth over.

Reeling at 10-3, Ireland only managed six runs in their next 4.4 overs but Harry Tector and Lorcan Tucker did manage to dig in to produce a 72-run partnership.

However, UAE skipper Ahmed Raza clean bowled Tector (33) and soon dismissed wicketkeeper batsman Tucker to leave the visitors again in a degree of trouble on 99-5.

The UAE bowlers tied down Campher and Singh early in their innings as even reaching 200 looked a long shot for the Irish.

Curtis Campher notched two ODI half centuries against England last summer
Curtis Campher continued his impressive start to his Ireland career by notching another ODI 50

However, the two middle-order batsmen began to open their shoulders as Ireland hit 93 runs in their final 10 overs, 56 of those coming in the closing five overs, with Delany also contributing a brisk late 15 after Zahoor Khan had taken his third wicket by trapping Campher lbw.

South African-born Campher’s knock continued his superb start to his Ireland career as he notched a third ODI 50 following his two half centuries in last summer’s series against England.

In their reply, UAE looked in control as they reached 46-0 after 9.2 overs. Campher dropped a difficult chance to dismiss Farid while Tector spilled a much easier chance to get rid of Rudhravel Sasirekha.

However, Farid was then caught near the boundary by Delany to start Singh’s run of five straight wickets.

Craig Young’s catches saw Sasirekha and Rizwan heading to the pavilion and Basil Hameed’s edge to Tucker was followed by Singh trapping Mohammad Usman to complete his five-wicket haul.

UAE were unable to summon up much late resistance with Kashif Daud’s run-out for 20 by Tector as he attempted a crazy second run following a misfield.

Another run-out sealed Ireland’s win as O’Brien’s quick throw enabled Tucker to dismiss Karthik Meiyappan.