Ireland 349 wins and 4 wins (Sterling 162, Balboni 66, Turktor 57, Sanchit 3-46) defeated United Arab Emirates 211 (Waseem 45, Sanchit 44, Dockrell 2-32, McBrine 2-34) 138 points
But such was the fate that the Emirates – another side that had been knocked out prior to this match – couldn’t stop as they slid to 211 on a good batting trajectory.
Sterling established his authority from the first ball. Earlier, Junaid Siddique had thrown the ball and Sterling leaned on the fairway and flicked the ball away through the cover. That’s an ominous sign of a blockbuster opener.
Sterling has been vigilant throughout the first ten rounds, although Andy McBrian has picked up the pace after a slow start. Sanchet entered the attack after seven overs and made an immediate impact, trapping the heavier McBryan with a long ball sewn in from outside.
But Sterling immediately put the pressure on the bowlers with two consecutive fours off Ali Nassir’s next over. He cites 56 deliveries over his half-century.
Balboni, who has scored 12, 0 and 7 in his last three games, played the role of anchor, slow-moving, while Sterling kept the scoreboard ticking.
Sterling hit a personal 100 from 98 balls in the 34th over and scored his 14th ODI with a win over Aayan Afzal Khan at Midwicket percentile. Balboni struck fifty in the last pitch of the over, while both batsmen struck Karthik Meiyappan for six in the following over .
Basil Hameed was brought on as the Emirates looked for wickets and Sterling met him with three sixes. Sterling and Balboni added 184 to 178 in the second wicket. After Balbirnie was beaten by Naseer in the 39th over, Tector came on and continued running with Stirling.
But the Emirates did not breathe a sigh of relief, with Teckert completing his peak half-century with 30 goals. He became Sanchet’s third victim in the penultimate round, but George Dockrell and Tucker scored 16 in the final round to set a target of 350.
In the chase, Wasim dominated the opening stages, scoring 45 of 58 before getting out. A long pass from Barry McCarthy hit his glove. The ball rolled toward the bunker, but Wasim, grimacing at the blow, started walking towards the square-legged referee while gesturing to the physio, not realizing the ball wasn’t dead. Balboni was keen on what was going on, and seeing Wasim hovering just beyond his crease, he swooped in and threw the stump down.
His opening partner, Ariansh Sharma, was soon dismissed for his lack of footwork, directly cutting off McCarthy’s short, wide pass. Little is back again, with consecutive rotations of Fritia Aravind and Ethan D’Souza. McBryan gave Ireland the lead with two wickets in the 21st.
Sanchit was the UAE’s best bowler and he and Hamid hit 70 in the seventh wicket and his bat was also impressive but they could take them to a A respectable total, Ireland’s score was never in danger of being chased. They both hit three sixes each before Hamid slid past Dockrell and flew into the rear phalanx.
Sanchet followed up quickly, missing Curtis Canver’s long shot, before the Irish bowlers swept their tails to seal a consolation win.
Abhimanyu Bose is associate editor for ESPNcricinfo