IT was a long wait for Andy McBrine. In his first 83 games for Ireland, the North West Warriors captain had a best of three wickets in an innings. But in game 84, it all came right on the day and with figures of five for 39 he now has Ireland’s sixth best analysis in a one-day international.

The Donemana off spinner admitted that losing the first World Cup Super League game against Afghanistan on Thursday dampened his excitement but he was glad to get the monkey off his back.

“It’s obviously nice to get a five-for in any match but to do it for Ireland is a bit more special,” said McBrine. “While it was nice personally it counts for nothing if we don’t win the game as that is the most important thing.

“While we came up short (by 16 runs), there were a lot of positives in the way we played their spinners in tough conditions and the way Lorcan (Tucker, who top scored with 83) played will give him huge confidence going into the last two games and the other lads in the middle order.”

McBrine and the rest of the Ireland bowling attack had a fresh pitch for this morning’s second game in Abu Dhabi and the fact that Simi Singh, who has the second best ODI figures after his career best five for 10 in the second ODI against UAE last week, and McBrine are in-form proves that they can be as dangerous as Afghanistan’s star triumvirate of Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Zadran and Mohammad Nabi.

Ireland know much tougher challenges lie ahead in their remaining six WCSL series so it is vital they win at least one of the last two games – the third is on Tuesday – to give themselves even an outside chance of claiming one of the seven automatic qualifying spots for India 2023.

Today’s game had to go ahead despite the players learning that former Ireland team manager Roy Torrens died yesterday. With the series against Afghanistan already pushed back and the Abu Dhabi T10 starting on Thursday, there was no room for a postponement.