Brisbane, Australia: Shaiman Anwar scored his maiden one-day international century and shared a 107-run partnership with Amjad Javed to lift the United Arab Emirates to 278-9 against Ireland in a World Cup Pool B match on Wednesday.
Despite a late flurry of runs, it could be a difficult total to defend against an Ireland batting lineup which chased down 305 with four overs to spare to upset the two-time champion West Indies last week.
Anwar, who led the scoring with 67 in UAE's opening four-wicket loss to Zimbabwe, belted 106 from 83 balls, including 10 fours and a six. He shared a 47-run fifth-wicket stand with Khurram Khan (36), and then combined with Javed, who scored 42 from 35 deliveries, as the UAE got out of early trouble at 78-4.
Ireland is unbeaten in 13 one-day matches against fellow Associate nation UAE and is on a high after its win over the West Indes, but had not played in nine days and conceded at a run-rate of almost 10 for the last five overs.
After being sent in to bat, the UAE made a promising start with a 49-run opening stand between Amjad Ali (45) and Andri Berenger (13).
Paul Stirling made the initial breakthroughs in the 12th and 14th overs: Berenger was caught by William Porterfield and Krishna Chandran (0) edged to Kevin O'Brien, who took a catch on the second grab at slip after it deflected off wicketkeeper Gary Wilson.
All-rounder Stirling bowled all his 10 overs in one spell and returned an innings-best 2-27.
O'Brien chimed in with two wickets as UAE slumped to 78-4 before Anwar led the rearguard effort, accelerating the scoring with Javed after Khan was trapped lbw by left-arm spinner George Dockrell in the 40th over.
O'Brien took some punishment at the end, returning 2-61 from seven overs — including a long 48th when he bowled two wides and stopped in his run-up twice as Anwar moved across his crease to unsettle the bowler.
After producing a career-high ODI score for the second consecutive match, Anwar was eventually out when he skied an edge off Max Sorenson (2-60) and was caught by wicketkeeper Wilson in the 49th.