IRELAND have much work ahead after an unconvincing return to action when an Oman Development XI won a Twenty20 game in Al Amerat by four wickets with 28 balls to spare.

It was an uncapped warm-up game for this week’s quadrangular tournament so despite trying to defend an inadequate 112-8, Ireland bowlers stuck to plan with only five used – Kevin O’Brien and Stuart Thompson were not – with Josh Little (2-14) the most successful and Simi Singh the most economical (1-6) sharing only five overs. Boyd Rankin (0-34) and Peter Chase (2-42) both conceded more than 10 an over.

Earlier, captain Paul Stirling hit two successive fours in the first over but was caught behind next ball dancing down the pitch, Stuart Thompson was then run out after facing just one ball in a mix-up with O’Brien who, promoted to open, scored a single off eight balls before he was caught at deep mid-wicket to leave Ireland 12-3.

The middle order then limped to 95-8 off 19 overs with only seven boundaries - as many as Oman’s Suraj Kumar hit from 41 balls - and it needed George Dockrell (top scorer with 26 not out) and Boyd Rankin to hit 17 off the last over to get Ireland into three figures.

Lorcan Tucker, Shane Getkate and Andy McBrine were the players left out but can expect a game when the teams meet again this morning. Ireland face the full Oman side on Wednesday followed by Scotland on Friday and Netherlands next Sunday.