Intercontinental Cup: Ireland stay in control against UAE at Malahide
|Intercontinental Cup, Malahide (day two of four)|
|Ireland: 492 (118.3 overs) Joyce 231, Stirling 146|
|UAE: 207-8 (69 overs) Shaiman Anwar 52 not out|
Ireland remain in control of their Intercontinental Cup match with the UAE despite a much improved performance by the visitors on day two at Malahide.
Resuming on 420-3, Ed Joyce added just two to his overnight 229, before being trapped lbw by Amjad Javed.
Ireland were dismissed for 492 and had the UAE in trouble at 162-8, but a determined ninth-wicket partnership of 45 halted them in their tracks.
UAE reached 207-8 by the end of play, 136 runs off avoiding the follow-on.
Following Joyce's departure, Andrew Balbirnie (10) was dismissed in exactly the same manner, and when Gary Wilson (2) and John Mooney (0) went cheaply, Ireland had lost four wickets for the addition of just 11 runs.
Kevin O'Brien (29) and George Dockrell (22 not out) shared a brief but entertaining stand of 35 for the eighth wicket as Ireland were dismissed just before lunch.
Amjad Javed (4-117) was the pick of the Emirates attack, with two wickets apiece for Muhammad Naveed (2-75), Fayyaz Ahmed (2-85) and skipper Mohammed Tauqir (2-104).
Openers Asid Iqbal and Amjad Ali survived a new ball burst by Craig Young and Tim Murtagh, before Ali pulled John Mooney to Murtagh at midwicket for a dogged one from 31 deliveries.
Iqbal (43) and Saqib Ali (27) added 57 before Craig Young (3-46) removed both in quick succession just before the tea interval.
Swapnil Patil (30) and the vastly experienced Khurram Khan (24) shared another half-century stand, but they too fell shortly after one another, with John Mooney (3-36) accounting for both.
Left-arm spinner George Dockrell (2-47) got in the act dismissing Fayyaz Ahmed (3) and Mohammed Tauqir (0), with Amjad Javed (7) falling to Young in between.
At 162-8, it seemed as if the Irish would wrap up the first innings before the close of play, but Shaiman Anwar was chiefly responsible for the late resistance, reaching an unbeaten 52 from 82 balls when stumps were pulled.
With an uncertain weather forecast for Friday, Ireland will be determined to try and clinch the win on Thursday.
The game at Malahide is the first step in Ireland's push to gain Test status, with the eventual winners of the Intercontinental Cup, a competition for associate members of the International Cricket Council, playing the lowest-ranked Test nation in a four-match challenge.
Ireland are the cup holders and have won it four times out of six.