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Ireland chase historic victory

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first_img After both Ireland openers exited inside the first four overs the 34-year-old left-hander remained thereafter to hit an unbeaten 116 from 132 balls. It was Joyce’s second ODI century after he scored 107 for England against Australia six years ago. It gave Ireland something to defend and they got off to the perfect start with the ball as Pakistan’s top order folded. Johnston kickstarted the collapse when he had Imran Farhat well snapped up by Kevin O’Brien low at second slip before Murtagh struck twice in the next over. He trapped Nasir Jamshed in front without scoring before Mohammad Hafeez, the centurion from Thursday’s tied game, feathered through to wicketkeeper Gary Wilson. Ireland’s tails were up and while Stirling dropped Misbah-ul-Haq at first slip, Kevin O’Brien made no mistake when Asad Shafiq nicked Johnston’s next ball into a now-expectant cordon. Pakistan were reeling a 17 for four and it could have been even worse when Malik edged his first ball between keeper and slip. Misbah and Malik began to look more assured in a 43-run stand before the skipper offered back a catch to Alex Cusack and leave Ireland on the brink of an historic success. Earlier, Joyce was thrust into action almost immediately as Paul Stirling, who hit his second consecutive century against Pakistan on Thursday, failed to trouble the scorers. Stirling spooned a leading edge to mid-wicket off Junaid Khan and when skipper William Porterfield chased at debutant Asad Ali soon after Ireland were in early trouble at four for two. Misbah had sent them in on a tricky wicket, changed from the run-filled surface used in the opener, and Ireland initially plodded along as ball regularly beat bat. Ali’s first international spell of seven overs returned four maidens at a cost of just nine runs, but Joyce and Niall O’Brien nevertheless steadied matters in a watchful 65-run stand from 120 balls. Joyce and Kevin O’Brien finally got the innings rolling when they took 53 from the powerplay, taken at the start of the 34th over. Joyce was dropped on 61 when Hafeez juggled four times at gully and Pakistan were made to pay as nine boundaries came in the five-over restrictions – one more than Ireland had managed until then. But when the field dropped back O’Brien picked out Nasir Jamshed in the deep after hitting 38 from 48 balls. Ireland then lost momentum but Joyce remained assured and brought up his century by swatting Abdur Rehman, who took four for 48 in his first international match since be was banned for testing positive to cannabis, over the ropes. Ireland ripped through Pakistan’s top order as they sought to claim a first-ever series win against a full-member nation in the second RSA one-day international in Dublin. After Ed Joyce’s unbeaten century helped the Irish post 229 for nine their bowlers went to work on a green-tinged pitch offering seam movement. New-ball pair Trent Johnston and Tim Murtagh made full use as they reduced Pakistan to 74 for five after 25 overs. It could have been even better for the hosts with Shoaib Malik, unbeaten on 23, surviving a missed chance from his first ball. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Flying Eagles Go for Broke against Ukraine

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first_imgAlthough they already have a spot in the Round of 16, Ukraine could still finish third on the log and be condemned to face Italy, the first-placed team in Group B. That is, if they lose to Nigeria and USA, on three points as Nigeria, racks up a big win over Qatar.Both teams go toe-to-toe at the Bielsko-Biala Stadium as from 7.30pm Nigeria time this evening, with the Flying Eagles determined to take the game to their opponents and get a win.However, Paul Aigbogun’s boys will do well to avoid the kind of lethargic start they contrived against USA, and put together more fluent attacking moves complemented by clinical finishing.If they end up as Group D winners, the Flying Eagles will travel back to Tychy to play a third-placed team in the Round of 16 on Monday. If they finish in second place, they would be off to Bydgoszcz to play the winner of group E (which has another African flag-bearer Mali, as well as France, Panama and Saudi Arabia). And if they end up as one of the best third –placed teams, they would be off to Lodz to play the winner of Group B.Whatever their game-plan for tonight’s encounter, Aigbogun’s wards must watch out for Ukraine’s Denys Popov, who has scored two of the Ukrainian side’s three goals at the championship so far, as well as Serhi Buletsa, who scored one of their goals against USA.Two of Africa’s three other representatives, Mali and Senegal, are also on good ground to reach the knockout rounds. Senegal top Group A after amassing six points from beating Tahiti and Colombia, while Mali perch in second place in group E with four points after drawing with Panama and edging Saudi Arabia in a seven-goal thriller. South Africa, after losses to Argentina and Korea Republic, are pointless in Group F.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram UNDER-20 WORLD CUPAfter a below par outing against Team USA in Bielsko-Biala on Monday night, Nigeria’s Under-20 team, the Flying Eagles know they must earn a result against group leaders Ukraine at the same venue today to prolong their stay at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Poland.Goals by Sebastian Soto and a sterling performance by the entire USA squad condemned the seven-time African champions to a 2-0 defeat. They still have three points and two goals advantage from their defeat of Qatar in Tychy on Friday, but any slip could be costly for further interest in the tournament.last_img read more