ST GEORGE’S, Grenada: Ireland rode a career-best 95 from opener Paul Stirling before keeping their nerve in a nail-biting final over to pull off a four-run win over world champions West Indies in the first of a three-match Twenty20 series on Wednesday.
The burly Stirling steered Ireland to 208-7 in their 20 overs.
However, the home side appeared comfortably on course for victory — bringing up their hundred inside 10 overs with just two wickets down — until the game was decided in the last over.
Needing 15 to win, all-rounder Josh Little (3-29) got rid of the dangerous Dwayne Bravo, one of two wickets to fall in the last over.
With five needed off the last ball and seven wickets down, Hayden Walsh could only wave his bat into thin air in a desperate attempt to win the game.
It was only Ireland’s second victory in T20 cricket over the West Indies who went into the game having swept the ODI series 3-0.
Ireland won toss
P R Stirling c Lewis b Walsh 95
K J O’Brien b Bravo 48
*A Balbirnie c Williams b Pierre 7
G J Delany b Bravo 19
H T Tector c Bravo b Pierre 2
†G C Wilson b Cottrell 17
G H Dockrell not out 5
Simi Singh c Lewis b Cottrell 0
Extras (b 1, lb 2, nb 2, w 7) 12
Total (7 wickets; 20 overs) 208
Did not bat: B J McCarthy, J B Little, C A Young
Fall: 1-154, 2-156, 3-162, 4-164, 5-199, 6-208, 7-208
Bowling: Cottrell 4-0-37-2 (w 1); Pierre 3-0-45-2 (w 2); Williams 3-0-48-0 (w 1, nb 1); Bravo 4-0-28-2 (w 1); Walsh 4-0-25-1 (w 1); Pollard 2-0-22-0 (w 1, nb 1)
L M P Simmons c Dockrell b Little 22
E Lewis c Tector b Young 53
S O Hetmyer c Balbirnie b Dockrell 28
*K A Pollard c Dockrell b Singh 31
†N Pooran c Delany b Young 26
S E Rutherford c Dockrell b Little 26
D J Bravo c Delany b Little 9
H R Walsh not out 0
K Pierre not out 0
Extras (lb 2, w 6) 8
Total (7 wickets; 20 overs) 204
Did not bat: K O K Williams, S S Cottrell
Fall: 1-37, 2-93, 3-114, 4-150, 5-194, 6-196, 7-204
Bowling: Singh 4-0-36-1 (w 1); McCarthy 4-0-55-0 (w 2); Little 4-0-29-3; Young 4-0-31-2;
Dockrell 4-0-51-1 (w 3)
Result: Ireland won by 4 runs
Man of the Match: Paul Stirling (Ireland)
Umpires: Patrick Gustard and Gregory Brathwaite (West Indies). TV umpire: Jacqueline Williams (West Indies). Match referee: Jeff Crowe (New Zealand)
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