Murtagh on form as Ireland finish on high
Updated: Thursday, 21 Mar 2013 18:06
Tim Murtagh shone as Ireland finished their tour of the United Arab Emirates on a high, with a six-wicket win over their hosts in a Twenty20 fixture.
Ireland rested Alex Cusack, Ed Joyce and Trent Johnston, but the trio weren't missed thanks to an opening salvo from Middlesex seamer Murtagh, which saw him claim three for 11 in his four-over spell.
Paul Stirling (2-16) and George Dockrell (2-34) both captured two wickets on a pitch which offered considerable assistance to the bowlers.
Swapnil Patil top scored once again for the UAE with 41 from 32 balls, but their final total of 122-9 appeared at the innings break to be below par.
Irish skipper William Porterfield dominated an opening stand of 54 in 41 balls with Paul Stirling (9) to put the Irish firmly in control.
Porterfield's golden start to 2013 continued as he top scored with 58, hitting four fours and three sixes from just 40 deliveries - in the process passing the 5,000 runs landmark for Ireland. At just 28, there are certain to be more records in store for the captain.
James Shannon (12) struck two boundaries before being bowled by Rohan Mustafa, and shortly afterwards Porterfield was run out following a mix-up with Niall O'Brien.
Gary Wilson enhanced his reputation as the side's finisher as he calmed the nerves with an unbeaten 35 from 27 balls. The Surrey man found the boundaries at crucial times just when it appeared that the Emiratis were sensing an upset.
Wilson finished the game with consecutive boundaries as Ireland sealed the six-wicket win with seven balls remaining.
Ireland will be back in the UAE in November for the T20 World Cup qualifiers and also hopefully for the final of the ICC InterContinental Cup.
Ireland's next competitive action is in May when they play two one-day internationals against Pakistan in Clontarf.