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Stirling: finished with a massive 126.
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Stirling and Porterfield in record-breaking form as Ireland book place in Super Sixes
Hosts Zimbabwe are next up for Ireland on Friday.

Ireland 313-6 (44 overs)

UAE 91 all out (29.3 overs)

Ireland won by 226 runs (DLS method)

PAUL STIRLING AND captain William Porterfield set a new Irish record as Graham Ford’s side secured their place in the Super Six stage at the Cricket World Cup Qualifier.

Stirling and Porterfield combined for 205 runs against the United Arab Emirates in Harare, smashing their own national record of 177 runs for an opening partnership in a one-day international.

Stirling was named Player of the Match as he fired his seventh ODI century, putting up a tally of 126 off 117 balls (including 15 fours and five sixes) before he was caught by UAE wicketkeeper Ghulam Shabber. Porterfield was dismissed for 92 (10 fours and two sixes).

Bouncing back after Sunday’s disappointing defeat against the West Indies, Ireland’s bowlers made light work of the UAE order, dismissing them for 91 inside 30 overs.

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

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“We knew coming into today we needed, I think, four wins from four to get through hopefully. So that is still on track, but still three to go.”

He added: “I felt in good nick, it was good to go on and get a big score. I’ve worked pretty hard, so I’m happy I’ve been able to put in a match-winning performance for the team today.”

Ireland will now play hosts Zimbabwe (Friday 16 March), Scotland (Sunday 18 March) and Afghanistan (Friday 23 March), knowing that they will likely need three wins from three to finish as one of the top two sides and clinch qualification for the 2019 World Cup.

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