Porterfield salutes late show

Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov 2?

Ireland slipped to 97-4 in pursuit of 280 but half-centuries from Gary Wilson (80 off 69 balls) and Kevin O???Brien (50 off 25) steered the team to a second victory of the tournament with four balls to spare.

Porterfield???s men, who defeated West Indies in their World Cup opener, are next in action on Tuesday, March 3 at Canberra???s Manuka Oval against three-time semi-finalists South Africa.

???Wickets in hand are always a big thing, especially when you’ve got lads like Kev [O???Brien] and Wilson coming in,” said Porterfield. “One key factor was the way we played in the last 20 overs of our innings.

“It was a bit closer than we would have wanted but we’d take that any day of the week. Confidence is high in the squad, and the fixtures start coming thicker and faster now.”

UAE racked up 279-8 from their 50 overs, with Pakistan-born batsman Shaiman Anwar (106 off 83) notching the side???s??maiden World Cup hundred.

Mohammad Tauqir???s charges then dismissed Paul Stirling (3) with just four runs on the board, before ousting Ed Joyce (37), Porterfield (37) and Niall O???Brien (17) inside 26 overs.

However, Ireland spinner George Dockrell, who hit the winning runs, says he and his colleagues did not take their fellow associates lightly.

???Our preparation was superb, probably even better than the West Indies games, so we didn???t take anything for granted,??? said Dockrell, who plays domestically for Somerset.

???But we probably didn???t anticipate how well they would play; the way they batted was superb and they really challenged us in the field and with the ball.

???It???s a sign of a good team, though, that you can get over the line without playing as well as you can and we???re looking forward to a huge game against South Africa and trying to get win number three.???

Tauqir, meanwhile, cited the slimy conditions as a reason for UAE???s loss but was quick to praise Anwar, whose ton included 10 fours and one six.

“That’s cricket,??? said Tauqir. ???The spinners were playing well, but O’Brien took the game from us and it was difficult because there was a lot of dew and the ball became slippery as the game went on.???

On centurion Anwar, Tauqir added: “In the dressing room, his nickname is Sir Viv Richards. We knew he could do it.”