Tuesday 21 October 2014

O'Brien hoping for rub of the green

Published 18/03/2014 | 17:02

Kevin O'Brien thinks conditions will favour Ireland against the United Arab Emirates

All-rounder Kevin O'Brien believes conditions will favour Ireland when they meet the United Arab Emirates in their second World Twenty20 qualification match at the Sylhet Divisional Stadium.

Ireland claimed a last-gasp victory over Zimbabwe at the same ground in their opener on Monday, when they were pleased to find a wicket with pace and bounce to suit their style.

O'Brien hopes that will give his side a clear advantage against the UAE, who rely on their slower bowlers, and who Ireland beat by just five runs when they last met.

That match came in qualification for this tournament in November and on a slower surface in Abu Dhabi.

"It's a great cricket wicket (at Sylhet)," O'Brien said.

"There's a bit of pace for our quicker bowlers and if you get in as a batsmen you can play through the line and score quickly as we saw (against Zimbabwe).

"I think that favours us, there's not as much spin as we saw in the UAE in November.

"That will play into our hands potentially from a batting point of view and also bowling."

Ireland almost threw away victory against Zimbabwe before sneaking a bye from the final ball.

That has left them with the upper hand as they look to progress from Group B and into the main draw where the likes of England, Sri Lanka and South Africa await.

Only the top team from the four-strong group will progress, with Ireland's final match against unbeaten Holland taking place on Friday.

"We had been building up to that game (against Zimbabwe) for a long time," O'Brien added.

"Probably since November it's always been in the back of our minds. It's a relief to get out on the pitch and play the game and ultimately get the win.

"It was a great two points for us. I think we played really, really great cricket right up until the 38th over of the match when we took our foot of the gas, but we got over the line in the end.

"We've got to re-focus now for Wednesday evening and hopefully we can hit the ground running again and get off to a great start."

Press Association

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