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Ireland on brink of World Cup qualification

July 05, 2005 12:47 IST

Ireland recovered from a batting blip against United Arab Emirates to move to the verge of qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 with a two-wicket victory at Stormont.

The host nation overcame its toughest ICC Trophy 2005 challenge to date thanks to an unbeaten century from the tournament's leading run scorer, Ed Joyce.

After losing the toss and being asked to bat, UAE posted its highest total of the event. Captain Khurram Khan and Javed Ismail both contributed half-centuries to a competitive 230 all out.

The Ireland reply began disastrously as an inspirational opening spell from Ali Asad Abbas had the hosts reeling at 23 for 4. The right-arm paceman's bowling accounted for three wickets and he claimed the fourth to fall with a run-out.

It required the composed presence of Joyce to steady the Ireland reply and he found an able ally in Trent Johnston. The pair put on 122 for the fifth wicket before Johnston was bowled for 67.

Three more wickets fell as the match built to a tense climax but Ireland scraped home with one ball to spare, Paul Mooney scrambling the single required to seal the two-wicket victory.

Bermuda threw Group A wide open with a comfortable victory over Denmark at Cliftonville.

The Danes, who had won their opening two games, allowed Bermuda to compile a solid 249 for 8 and never looked like getting close in their reply.

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Frederik Klokker, the century-scoring hero of Denmark's victory over USA, was the third man out with the score on seven and only a late 51 runs from Thomas Hansen added a degree of respectability to Denmark's total of 156 all out.

Bermuda's victory puts them firmly in contention for a place at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 to be hosted by its Caribbean neighbours.

Uganda picked up its first victory of the tournament at Lurgan, beating USA by six wickets.

Group B

Holland claimed its third consecutive ICC Trophy 2005 victory with a six wicket defeat of Namibia.

Holland put Namibia in after winning the toss at the picturesque Osborne Park ground. Namibia looked to be making steady progress towards a good total until strike bowler Edgar Schiferli was brought back into the Dutch attack.

The bowler known as 'Caveman' by his teammates took three crucial wickets in one over, clubbing Namibia from 148 for 5 to 150 for 8 at a crucial stage of their innings. The Namibia tail could muster only 38 more runs before the final wicket fell with two balls remaining.

Openers Bas Zuiderent and Tom de Grooth provided Holland with the perfect platform with a century partnership.

De Grooth was first out for 55 but by then the target was already in sight.

With Namibia's bowlers struggling to control the white ball - they bowled 24 wides - Zuiderent carefully steered his side to victory, finishing the match with 3.1 overs to spare on 65 not out.

Scotland made light work of Papua New Guinea at Shaw's Bridge in a match that was reduced to 44 overs due to heavy overnight rain.

John Blain and Dougie Brown both picked up four wickets as PNG were bowled out for 90 in 35 overs. Seven of the PNG batsmen were dismissed leg-before-wicket.

Scotland took only 19 overs to reach the target but PNG will take some consolation from claiming five Scottish wickets.

Oman's highest score of the tournament almost caught out a Canada side determined to try and improve its net-run-rate.

With the flashing blade of John Davison leading the way, Canada looked like reaching their target of 184 within 30 overs. But once Davison was dismissed for 74 off 53, Canada stuttered to a two-wicket victory in the 42nd over.

The penultimate round of group games takes place on Tuesday.

The ICC Trophy Ireland 2005 is the final qualifying event for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007. The final is at Clontarf near Dublin on 13 July.