IRELAND are just one wicket away from clinching a convincing win against the UAE after the third day of their ICC InterContinental Cup clash at Malahide.

Despite claiming an extra half-hour in an attempt to wrap up the game inside three days, the Irish fell agonisingly short as the UAE finished proceedings on 251 for 9 in their second innings - still needing another 28 runs to make Ireland bat again.

Resuming the day on 207 for 8, the last two UAE first innings wickets just added a further six runs, with Craig Young (4-51) and George Dockrell (3-48) claiming the wickets.

Dockrell's dismissal of Majula Guruge was courtesy of a catch by skipper William Porterfield - his 100th for Ireland.

Porterfield enforced the follow-on with the visitors 279 runs adrift, and left-arm spinner Dockrell was again very much to the fore as he dismissed openers Amjad Ali (28) and Asif Iqbal (12) before the lunch break.

Khurram Khan (10) fell to a sharp slip catch by Ed Joyce off Paul Stirling just after the interval, to leave the Emiratis struggling on 65 for 3.

Swapnil Patil and Saqib Ali - who scored 195 against Ireland in this competition in 2008 - then battened down the hatches to frustrate the Irish attack.

Patil struck 10 boundaries in a determined 63 from 110 balls, sharing a century stand with the obdurate Ali, spread over 231 deliveries.

It was Dockrell who broke their resistance, having Patil smartly stumped by Gary Wilson after a rush of blood saw him charge down the pitch.

Shaiman Anwar (0) fell with no addition to the score, Dockrell (4-93) again the successful bowler, with Andrew Balbirnie taking a sharp chance at short-leg.

The second new ball saw Tim Murtagh (1-22 from 16 overs) take his first wicket of the match, as Fayyaz Ahmed edged behind to Gary Wilson.

Four balls later Craig Young ended Ali's 207 ball occupation of the crease, as Kevin O'Brien held a sharp chance at second slip - the total at the stage 188 for 7.

There were still seven wickets down as Ireland claimed the extra 30 minutes, and almost instantly Young trapped Mohammed Tauqir (8).

Paul Stirling (2-31) claimed an lbw verdict against Amjad Javed (36) with just 12 balls remaining in the day, but despite the best efforts of the Irish, UAE's last pair clung on to force the match into a fourth day.


At Malahide, Day 3 of 4

IRELAND 492 (118.3 overs, E Joyce 231, P Stirling 146, K O'Brien 29, G Dockrell 22*, Amjad Javed 4-117)

UAE 213 (71.3 overs, Shaiman Anwar 57, Asif Iqbal 43, Swapnil Patil 30, Saqib Ali 27, Khurram Khan 24, C Young 4-51, J Mooney 3-36, G Dockrell 3-48) and 251/9 (100 overs, Swapnil Patil 63, Saqib Ali 51, Amjad Javed 36, Amjad Ali 28, Fayyaz Ahmed 21, G Dockrell 4-93, P Stirling 2-31, C Young 2-57)

Play continues Friday at 11am.