Intercontinental Cup: Ireland draw with UAE in Sharjah

William Porterfield

William Porterfield hit an unbeaten century as Ireland's Intercontinental Cup match against the United Arab Emirates ended in a draw in Sharjah.

The hosts, who started the final day on 302-6, were bowled out for 360 with Trent Johnston taking four wickets.

Ireland held a lead of 229 but did not enforce the follow-on and they finished on 188-3 with captain Porterfield on 101 while Andrew White made 53.

The Irish secured nine points and remain top of the cup standings.

Ireland have 76 points, ahead of Afghanistan (64) and Scotland (46).

UAE added 58 to their overnight total with Johnston claiming the final three wickets to end with 4-62 while George Dockrell and John Mooney each took two wickets.

Johnston is now fourth in the all-time Ireland wicket-takers list, just four behind Kyle McCallan (256) with legendary figures Jimmy Boucher (307) and Dermott Monteith (326) very much in his sights.

Having been in the field for 138 overs in oppressive heat and with the pitch benign, Ireland opted to rest their bowling attack, given the importance of the two World Cricket League games against UAE next week.

Porterfield, who hit 82 in the first innings, scored a record ninth century for Ireland with his 101 from 165 balls, the highlight on the fourth day of action.

White made a watchful 52 before falling to Ahmed Raza with Paul Stirling (16) and Mooney (15) the other wickets to fall.

On the decision not to enforce the follow-on, or contrive a run chase with a sporting declaration, Porterfield said:

"It was something we thought about doing on Thursday night, especially when we took those quick wickets in the final session.

"It was probably still in the balance on Friday morning about what we should do, but as you've seen over the four days, only 19 wickets fell.

"It's a very flat wicket and it would have been hard on the bowlers to ask them to go out and do it again after spending nearly 140 overs in those conditions.

"Some people might think it was negative but we would have been running our bowlers into the ground, and it would be pointless seeing as we've got two massive games coming up next week."

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