Brisbane: Shaiman Anwar made the first hundred in the World Cup by a United Arab Emirates batsman as the amateurs from the Middle East recovered to 278 for nine against Ireland in their Pool B match at Brisbane’s Gabba ground on Wednesday.
The UAE were in dire straits at 131 for six after losing the toss against Ireland, with their fellow non-Test nation well on course for a second win in as many matches this tournament after beating the West Indies by four wickets.
But Anwar (106) and Amjad Javed (42) hit back with a record-breaking stand of 107 which surpassed the previous World Cup best for the seventh wicket of 98 shared by the West Indies’ Ramnaresh Sarwan and Ridley Jacobs against New Zealand at Port Elizabeth in 2003.
Both Anwar, who made his previous one-day international best of 67 in the UAE’s tournament-opening loss to Zimbabwe, and Javed seized on a succession of short balls.
Anwar also outfoxed experienced Ireland all-rounder Kevin O’Brien in a 48th over where his movement at the crease twice saw the medium-pacer pull out in his delivery stride.
When O’Brien did eventually send the ball down, the 35-year-old Anwar pulled him for four.
Anwar’s three down to third man off O’Brien saw him to a hundred in 79 balls with 10 fours and a six.
He was eventually out for 106, skying Max Sorensen to wicketkeeper Gary Wilson, after scoring only the UAE’s second one-day international century following Khurram Khan’s 132 against Afghanistan last year.
The UAE’s final total was unlikely to have worried an Ireland side who chased more than 300 to beat the West Indies, but it kept them in the match.
Ireland off-spinner Paul Stirling, who took an economical two for 27 in 10 overs, struck twice in quick succession to leave the amateur side 53 for two as he removed Andri Berenger and Krishna Chandran.
Wickets fell steadily with the UAE unable to get out of first gear until Anwar and Javed came together.
Javed, who scored at better than a run-a-ball, was eventually out when well caught in the deep by Ed Joyce off Sorensen.