Tuesday 23 January 2018

Cricket: Sorensen skittles UAE to book Ireland's place in T20 decider

Max Sorensen, Ireland
Max Sorensen, Ireland

MAX SORENSEN produced a stunning four-wicket spell to power Ireland to a 62-run victory over the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi and into their fourth consecutive World T20 qualifying final.

The Hills paceman sliced the top off the UAE innings with three wickets – including a double-wicket maiden – in his first three overs and struck again in his fourth to finish with 4-15.

Tim Murtagh also claimed four wickets as the tournament hosts were dismissed for 85 in reply to Ireland's 147-8.

It wasn't all plain sailing for the defending champions, though, and they needed all the experience of Kevin O'Brien, John Mooney and Trent Johnston to perform a rescue act with the bat after Ireland had slumped to 42-4 after winning the toss.

Johnston delivered the much-needed impetus towards the end of the innings, lifting a six and hitting five fours in a match-turning 35 from only 18 balls. "TJ (Johnston) showed how to use your feet and back your shots," Sorensen said.

"Mooners played beautifully too and Kevin hit straight down the ground. That's what you've got to do when the wicket is a bit slow. They didn't get flustered and got us up to a decent score."

Phil Simmons' men will face Afghanistan today in a repeat of last year's final, which Ireland won by five wickets to avenge a defeat by the same opponents in the 2010 final.

Ireland v Afghanistan,

Live, Sky Sports 3, 3.30

Irish Independent

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