’Unstoppable’ madness stuns world champs
Cricket minnows Ireland have claimed yet another huge scalp, sending a shot across the bow ahead of the T20 World Cup, defeating defending World Champions the West Indies.
Led by a stunning 95 off 47 from Paul Stirling, Ireland claimed its second ever win over the former powerhouse and 2016 T20 World Cup champions.
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While the West Indies were without the likes of Chris Gayle and Andre Russell who are off playing in the Bangladesh Premier League, the win is another big one for Ireland against a team seemingly built for the shortest form of the game.
Ireland were granted Test status in 2017 but haven’t previously been handed a regular schedule against top tier nations to test their skills.
But this might be changing in 2020, the country will played Afghanistan, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Pakistan and England in the lead up the T20 World Cup.
The nation, who came onto the world stage in the 2007 World Cup with wins over Pakistan and Bangladesh, have slowly developed over the years with eye opening performances in big tournaments but have largely played against associate nations.
Paul Stirling went absolutely nuts.Source:FOX SPORTS
It was an impressive victory for Ireland, who smashed 0/93 in the first six overs with Stirling bring up his half century off 20 balls and scoring 67 off just 25 balls during the power play.
By the end of the 12th over, Ireland had plundered 0/153 with Stirling on 94 and Kevin O’Brien on 48 off 30 balls.
O’Brien was soon out without adding to his score, before Stirling followed for 95, top edging a slog sweep to be caught on the boundary.
He ended with six fours and eight sixes in a powerhouse performance.
Stirling and KOB are unstoppable today!
Proper knock from @stirlo90 . Still be a great signing for someone!! #wivsire
The run rate slowed over the next seven overs from over 12 to 10.4 but it was still good enough for Ireland to equal its third highest total in T20 cricket of 7/208.
The 154-run stand between O’Brien and Stirling was also the nation’s highest ever in T20 cricket.
The West Indies chase got off to a quick start with Evin Lewis helping the side to 93 when he was dismissed for 53 off 29 balls at the end of the ninth over but with three overs left, the home side still needed 43.
But a horror over that went for 27 made it 16 off 12.
While it was a nervous finish, Ireland held on, taking three wickets and keeping the Windies to just 11 runs to claim the four run victory.
Dwayne Bravo was a last over dismissal and cut a forlorn figure.Source:FOX SPORTS
Stirling said it was a confidence building victory.
“It was a really good pitch,” Stirling said. “We probably put about a par score on, which showed in the end. I wouldn’t say we were nervous, but they seemed to be up with the rate all the way through, until it flipped in the last over. A huge difference in mindset (between T20s and ODIs). Here you have the chance to express yourself. In 50-over cricket you have to bat a little longer. It’s quite a daunting task when you see the big lads come in, how hard and how far you hit it, so it was important that if we got a wicket, we put a squeeze on in the next few overs.”
What a game #IrevWI !
There is a small band of dedicated Irish supporters here in Grenada delighted for them. We may party tonight #wivire remember ireland just beat the T20 World Cup winners in their own back yard. St kitts hosts last two games sat and sun
What a win for the lads!! @Irelandcricket ☘️☘️☘️
Safe to say that is a huge day out for @Irelandcricket and their players. Beating the world champs in their back yard. Special mention to Josh Little , Craig Young and George Dockrell (3catches and his last over swung it). Series up and running well done Captain @balbo90
Well done to @Irelandcricket on defeating the West Indies, one of the traditional strongholds of the game. https://t.co/pf4SXd0dWk
Three months after losing to Canada (the world no 23), Ireland beat the world champions West Indies in a T20 away.
The remaining two matches in the T20 series take place in St Kitts and Nevis, on Saturday and Sunday.
Ireland lost the recent ODI series between the teams 3-0.
— with AP
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