Record breaking Joyce stars as Ireland dominate UAE
Ed Joyce scored a mammoth unbeaten 229 as Ireland finished a record breaking first day on 420 for 3 against the UAE at Malahide in their ICC InterContinental Cup clash.
Joyce's innings was the highest individual score for Ireland - overtaking Eoin Morgan's score of 209 - as he plundered the beleaguered Emirati attack to all parts of the picturesque Malahide ground.
The 36 year-old smashed 29 fours and 3 sixes in his 223 ball stay, making the UAE pay severely for their missed opportunities.
Paul Stirling was made to play second fiddle to Joyce, as the pair added a mammoth 231 for the second wicket - Ireland's fourth highest partnership in their 160 year history as the Emiratis were put to the sword after asking Ireland to bat first.
Play was delayed by 45 minutes at the start of the day and Irish openers Paul Stirling and William Porterfield adopted a circumspect approach, adding 46 in the 18 overs before lunch.
Another rain shower delayed proceedings in the afternoon but once play resumed, Ireland attempted to step up the run rate.
However, skipper William Porterfield fell for 17, caught by Anwar off Naveed, having added 59 with Stirling - the 101st time the pair had opened the innings together.
Joyce and Stirling then proceeded to take the game completely away from the UAE with their brilliant second wicket stand.
Stirling reached his century from 145 balls, hitting 14 fours and a six, continuing his recent prolific form for Middlesex in the T20 format. It was his 9th in Irish colours - three behind record holder William Porterfield who has 12.
Joyce followed him to the landmark soon after - his century taking ten balls fewer than Stirling - his sixth hundred for Ireland contained 9 fours and one maximum.
Stirling eventually fell for 146 - his highest first-class score - to give some respite to the UAE attack. He faced 197 deliveries in total, hitting 17 fours and 3 sixes.
The respite was only temporary however as Joyce completely dominated a third wicket stand of 85 in 112 balls with Niall O'Brien, who made just 13 before giving skipper Tauqir a return catch.
Joyce passed the 200 mark with consecutive boundaries - hitting 4 fours in the space of five balls as he accelerated towards the landmarks rather than slowing down.The undefeated 229 is his highest first-class score, and he will have the 300 mark in his sights when play resumes at 11am.
This was the first day of a journey which Ireland hope will bring them Test status. It was also Head Coach John Bracewell's first day at the helm of the Irish team - there won't be many better than this.
ICC InterContinental Cup
At Malahide, Day 1 of 4, close of Play
IRELAND 420/3 (94 overs, E Joyce 229*, P Stirling 146) v UAE