Ireland beat England in the third and final ODI of the series at the Rose Bowl on Tuesday. With the series already wrapped up, England set the visitors a victory target of 329, a total they reached with seven wickets and a ball to spare, guided by a superb 142 from Paul Stirling.
Stirling put on an Irish record second wicket partnership of 214 with captain Andy Balbirnie, who contributed a fine 113.
It was Stirling’s ninth ODI hundred, but one of his best, though he was more relieved to have broken his side’s duck in the Super League. The Super League serves as the qualifier for the 2023 World Cup in India.
After a superb match winning knock, Stirling said he always believed they could chase down a score of over 300 against England.
“It was brilliant to get our first win in the competition, especially after a few tough performances in the last two games. We showed a lot of character to come back and are just delighted to get the win,” he said at the post-match presentation.
“We’ve chased over 300 a number of times, particularly in World Cups, so we knew we could do it. It (the big target) maybe just freed us up a little bit to go a bit harder up top and have a bit of fun.
“In the middle overs we were able to keep it ticking along, so it was just a pretty solid chase in the end.”
“This one is up top there, definitely. To do it against England in England is a nice one to have under your belt, but it was a team performance.
“It is the win that counts and 10 points there on the board. They are the most important things.”
England skipper Morgan lauds ‘dangerous’ Stirling
England skipper Eoin Morgan said Paul Stirling is as dangerous an opener as there is in cricket after the Irishman smashed 142 off 128 balls to help his team to a remarkable upset of the world champions.
Ireland-born Morgan scored a century of his own as England set the visitors an imposing victory target of 329 at the Rose Bowl but he sat out the second innings because of a minor groin injury.
He watched on from the boundary as Stirling, who was dropped on 95 and 139, and Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie (113) put on 214 for the second wicket to help the Irish overhaul the target for a second victory over England in 12 attempts.
“Paul Stirling had a day out and he’s the ability to do that,” Morgan told reporters.
“But we play against world class players all the time and you know when you do, you need to take those opportunities because they will hurt you.
“Ireland played really well and thoroughly deserved to win.”
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