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A century from Ed Joyce was the highlight of Ireland's 97-run victory over Bermuda in Group A, on the opening day of the ICC [Images] Trophy Ireland 2005.
Less than 24 hours after joining up with the rest of the Ireland squad, the Middlesex left-hander cruised to his maiden international century as Ireland amassed 315 for 8 in their 50 overs.
"That was my first century for Ireland but I'm really pleased for Eoin, he was hitting it really well. I think that's the best I've ever seen him bat," added Joyce.
Bermuda made a solid start to their reply at the Civil Service Sports Ground, but a combination of unconvincing running between the wickets and a hamstring injury to captain Clay Smith checked their progress and they finished on 218 for six from 50 overs.
Before the start of the tournament many expected Ireland's closest challengers in Group A to be United Arab Emirates and United States of America. In the head-to-head meeting between these sides at Downpatrick, UAE emerged victorious by 59 runs.
UAE struggled to 200 all out from 39.5 overs after being put in to bat, with Hamish Anthony taking five wickets for 46 runs. The total proved adequate, however, as USA slumped to 141 all out.
In the other Group A match, Denmark made a winning start to their campaign, beating Uganda by 28 runs.
Namibia fall two short of target
The tightest match of the day was between Canada [Images] and Namibia at Woodvale. A typically swashbuckling 125 runs from John Davison and 90 runs from captain Ian Billcliff put Canada on course for an imposing total.
But a spree of late wickets slowed their progress to 284 all out. The target was within Namibia's sights throughout the reply, Daniel Keulder leading the charge with 82 runs. But despite keeping in touch with the run rate, Namibia failed to keep wickets in hand and were all out two runs short of the target.
Two of the pre-tournament favourites Scotland and Holland both completed comfortable victories on the opening day.
Scotland made light work of Oman, dismissing the only ICC Affiliate Member country in the 12-team event for 83 runs.
Paul Hoffmann did the damage with the ball, taking six wickets for 12 runs in his eight overs. Scotland did not have it all their own way, losing four wickets on the way to knocking off the runs in 18.3 overs.
Holland's victory over Papua New Guinea was even more comprehensive. Five wickets for Edgar Schiferli and four for Ryan ten Doeschate restricted the ICC World Cup Qualifying Series Division Two champions to 69 all out. It took the Dutch only 14.4 overs to reach the target for the loss of one wicket.
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