Ireland entered into Super Six stage after destroyed UAE

Confident mood Ed Joyce

The Boys in Green needed a response to Saturday's setback against the West Indies and Stirling provided it with 126 from 117 balls, including 15 fours and five maximums, as he shared a record-breaking opening stand of 205 with William Porterfield.

Ireland's progress to the Super Six stage of the World Cup qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe was even easier than expected as UAE again proved canon fodder for William Porterfield's side.

Kevin O'Brien slapped the UAE to all parts of the ground after his elevation to No 3 to set the UAE a target they were never going to meet and the Irish bowlers then did the rest.

After they were put in to bat first, the pair set a new Irish opening stand record as they combined for 205 runs before Porterfield was dismissed just eight short of his century. McCarthy picked up his usual two wickets - for the sixth successive global - and Singh took 3-15 after Andy McBrine had gone wicketless in his six overs. Mohammad Naveed took three for 84 from his nine-over spell, including the wicket of Stirling. Once Chirag Suri and Ashfaq Ahmed fell, Boyd Rankin broke through the UAE middle order with a four-wicket burst that left them reeling at 67 runs for 6 wickets.

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"It's nice to come back from that West Indies loss and put in a good team performance today", Stirling said.

The hard work starts on Friday with a game against the hosts, with matches against Scotland and Afghanistan to follow, the Afghans still clinging to outside hopes of a finals place by making the Super Six through the back door after Nepal defeated Hong Kong.

"I felt in good nick, it was good to go on and get a big score".

Following the match against Zimbabwe, Ireland will also play Scotland on Sunday, 18 March and against Afghanistan on Friday, 23 March.

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