The long journey towards full Test status began precariously for the UAE as they were comprehensively outplayed by Ireland on the opening day of the Intercontinental Cup.
Ed Joyce, who was also a tormentor of the UAE earlier this year in the World Cup, struck a rapid double-century as the home team demolished the national team’s bowling attack.
The left-hander was 229 not out as Ireland ended Day 1 in Malahide on 420 for three.
The tournament carries the incentive of a shot at Test cricket. The winners will play a home and away Test series against the lowest ranked full member nation in 2018. The winners of that could have the chance to play Tests for the ensuing four years.
Ireland have won the Intercontinental Cup four times, and as such are by far the competition’s most successful side.
They were always likely to provide formidable opponents this week, particularly in home conditions, even if Aaqib Javed was optimistic of the UAE’s chances heading there.
“We have a team who is capable of adjusting to it,” Aaqib said before the side left Dubai.
However, the national team suffered a miserable start to the four-day match. Only Mohammed Naveed, the leader of the UAE attack, enjoyed any qualified success, as he clipped the Irish scoring rate in taking one for 58 in 15 overs.
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