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Ireland lose to UAE in ODI opener

Centuries from Chundangapoyil Rizwan and Muhammad Usman have propelled hosts United Arab Emirates to a comfortable six-wicket victory over Ireland in the first ODI at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.

Paul Striling celebrates his 10th ODI hundred. ©Emirates Cricket Board


Test playing nation Ireland could not have a good start to new calendar year as they faced defeat to UAE, staying 0-1 behind in the four-match series.

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Rizwan, the player of the match, struck his maiden ODI hundred – 109 runs off 136 balls with 9 fours and a six. He put on a 184-run stand with Usman for the fourth-wicket. Usman hit 3 sixes and 7 fours in his unbeaten 102* off 107 deliveries.

Despite a strong Irish start with the ball after posting 269/5 on board, Rizwan and Usman battled to earn their side to an emphatic victory with an over to spare.

Barry McCarthy and Curtis Campher had reduced the hosts to 51/3 in 12.5 overs.

Ireland openers Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien made a quick start after winning the toss. O’Brien, a surprise name in the opening stand, departed scoring 22-ball 23.

Stirling shared a stand of 102 runs with his captain Andy Balbarnie, who made 53 from 61. Stirling became only the second man to score 10 ODI hundreds for Ireland. The swashbuckling batter batted till the end, making 131* runs from 148 balls, including 9 fours and 4 sixes.

This was the first ODI of the year 2021. The two sides will meet again on Sunday (January 10).

Brief scores:

Ireland 269/5 in 50 overs (Stirling 131*, Balbarnie 53; Rohan 2/43, Raza 1/46)

United Arab Emirates 270/4 in 49 overs (Rizwan 109, Usman 102*; Campher 2/31, McCarthy 2/60)

United Arab Emirates won by 6 wickets

Player of the Match: Chundangapoyil Rizwan

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