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Page last updated at 13:36 GMT, Monday, 13 April 2009 14:36 UK

Irish on brink of World Cup place

ICC World Cup Qualifier, WITS University:
Ireland 134-2 (27.4 overs) beat UAE 133 (39.5 overs) by 8 wickets

Boyd Rankin
Boyd Rankin claimed two wickets in the UAE innings

Ireland have almost certainly secured a place at the 2011 World Cup after beating the United Arab Emirates in their latest qualifier in South Africa.

After bowling out the UAE for 133, the Irish reached their target in the 28th over for the loss of only two wickets.

Gary Wilson top-scored with 49 in Johannesburg with his fellow opener William Porterfield contributing 33.

Ireland now have eight points from their five games in the qualifiers which should ensure a World Cup place.

The top four teams from the qualifying event will be guaranteed a spot in the 2011 World Cup, which is scheduled to take place in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Regan West claimed UAE three wickets with Peter Connell and Boyd Rankin both notching two dismissals.

Wilson produced the key anchor role for Ireland in the runs-chase after struggling to make an impact in his last three knocks.

The Irish openers put on 83 for the opening wicket before captain Porterfield was dismissed for 39 in the 20th over.

Gary Wilson
Gary Wilson's 49 helped Ireland achieve their target in South Africa

Eoin Morgan's brisk 30 then brought Ireland to the brink of victory although Wilson was denied his 50 after being bowled by Muhammad Aman in the penultimate over.

The Irish dropped to second in the Super Eight standings behind Canada on run-rates after being shocked by Afghanistan on Saturday.

Two early Rankin wickets put the UAE on 3-3 and they slipped to 38-6 before Fayyez Ahmed's 64 helped give the innings a more respectable look.

Rankin dismissed openers Amjad Javed and Arshad Ali and Connell then bowled Khurram Khan to leave the UAE on 3-3 in the fourth over.

Connell, Alex Cusack and Trent Johnston claimed further wickets as the scoreline became 38-6 but Fayaaz Ahmed and Naeemuddin Aslam put on 55 for the seventh wicket to steady the innings.

West broke the partnership by dismissing Aslam for 23 and further wickets from Johnston and West left the UAE on 106-9 in the 36th over.

Fayaaz Ahmed continued to frustrate the Irish as he moved on to 63 from 65 balls but the innings then ended when he was bowled by West in the 40th over.

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see also
Afghanistan clinch win over Irish
11 Apr 09 |  Ireland
Ireland beat Canada in qualifier
06 Apr 09 |  Cricket
Irish clinch victory over Uganda
04 Apr 09 |  Cricket
O'Brien stars in Ireland victory
02 Apr 09 |  Cricket
Ireland defeat Scotland in opener
01 Apr 09 |  Cricket
ICC World Cup Qualifier
04 Apr 09 |  Cricket

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