There was concern in the Irish camp that John Mooney's campaign at the World Cup may be over following a horror injury in Dubai.
The big North County all-rounder hurt his leg making a brave attempt at a catch and was taken to hospital on crutches. The results of the MRI scan today will dictate whether his tournament is over.
"It didnt look good when he went down", said William Porterfield, "he's not the sort of fellow to lie down so I knew it was bad."
It was a double whammy for Ireland, who also lost Alex Cusack to a groin stran and left William Porterfield juggling his bowling options.
The drama took the shine off a good win over rivals Scotland, including Ed Joyce's first 20-20 fifty for country or club.
Ireland had a poor start, with Paul Stirling edging to slip off the first ball he faced and Porterfield playing on off the brisk Safayeen Sharif. It was an identical dismissal to how he was out to James Anderson during the World Cup.
From 8 for 2 Ireland regrouped around Joyce, and Cusack cut loose at an over from Parker with four consecutive boundaries.
"Alex played a really good innings - it wasn't that big but hitting 18 off one over at that stage took the pressure off," Joyce said.
Kevin O'Brien and Gary Wilson upped the run rate with some clean hitting, Wilson crashing Berrington onto the third deck of the VIP area.
The Scots got their field right in the closing overs and boundaries dried up.
There had been just one four in more than six overs when Joyce took guard for the last two balls of the innings.
He hit Safayaan Sharif's slower ball over square leg for six, and followed up straight and into the wind for another.
"I don't often hit sixes so i think those last two balls were crucial", said the Sussex batsman.
"Instead of facing seven and a half an over they needed eight, so those hits were useful."
Strangely, for a player who has been one of the most prolific in 50 over cricket in recent English seasons, this was his first fifty in Twenty20, in his 66th game.
"I always found Twenty20 a hard game to play, as you never know whether to stick or twist", he explained.
Trent Johnston found his way through the in-form Richie Berrington's defence third ball, and when Preston Mommsen tried to pull him he was out lbw.
Mooney chased thirty yards and dived to try to catch, but fell awkwardly on the rope and instantly signalled for assistance. He remained prone for ten minutes before the Irish coach and physio shouldered him slowly to the dressing room.
He left the stadium for an MRI scan in a nearby hospital. (The results of the MRI lster confirmed a torn hamstring and that his tournament was over. He was replaced in the squad by Andrew Poynter).
Ireland are well stocked with all-rounders and Kevin O'Brien was able to step up for his first bowl of the tournament and responded with 3-35 off four overs.
The sideshow of the tournament's leading bowler, Boyd Rankin, and leading batsman, Calum McLeod -- teammates at Warwickshire -- promised much.
The Irishman was the decisive winner here, troubling McLeod twice before the Scot made a mess of his footwork trying to pull and was given out.
Kyle Coetzer put Max Sorensen's first two balls over the rope on the straight and made his day even worse when the Irish player dropped him badly at long off when he was on 29.
The pair had put on 78 off 11 overs when Trent Johnston caught Watts off O'Brien, and next ball Jan Stander was sent back, fatally, by Coetzer. The captain completed a 46 ball fifty with a six off Stirling but the run-rate continued to mount and when O'Brien held a sharp return catch in the 19th over it was over as a contest.
Porterfield was resolute in his assessment: "If we win every game from today we'll qualify. That's what we're planning to do."
- Irish openers, William Porterfield and Paul Stirling, take the field
- William Porterfield and Paul Stirling
- Matthew Parker celebrates dismissing Paul Stirling for 0
- Safyaan Sharif bowls
- Matthew Parker bowls
- Six runs for Kevin O'Brien
- Kevin O'Brien clean bowled for 16
- Kevin O'Brien on his way to a disappointing 16
- Scottish celebrations
- Majid Haq is congratulated by teammates for dismissing Alex Cusack
- Majid Haq bowls
- Preston Mommsen bowls
- Majid Haq is congratulated by Craig Wallace
- A single for man of the match, Ed Joyce
- Jan Stander bowls
- Scotland's Matthew Parker in action
- A determined Preston Mommsen bowls
- John Mooney is helped back to the dressing room
- Ireland team
- Ireland's Ed Joyce is presented with the player of the match award by match referee, Dev Govindjee