Ireland dump two-time winners WI out of T20 World Cup
Ireland bested West Indies by nine wickets to qualify for Super 12 in the 2022 ICC T20 World Cup. Paul Stirling (66*) and Lorcan Tucker (45*) were the architects in the 147-run chase for Ireland (150/1). Earlier, Brandon King top-scored for the Windies as he got them to 146/5. For Ireland, spinner Gareth Delany (3/16) deserves praise for acing the middle-overs. Here's more.
How did the match pan out?
Opting to bat, WI lost their openers within five overs. King added 44 runs for the third wicket before WI started crumbling under pressure. A strong finish helped them get past 140 from a spot of bother. In exchange, the Irishmen started the chase on a dominant note and faced a minor setback before steering home.
Sixth T20I fifty for King, surpasses Andre Russell
King smacked a boundary off his very first ball before being dropped two deliveries later. The number four batter went on to slam a 48-ball 62* (6s: 1, 4s: 6). With his sixth T20I fifty, King raced to 744 runs in 30 innings, striking at 126.96. He even surpassed Andre Russell (741) to become WI's 12th-highest run-getter in the format.
Pooran's faulty run proves fatal
It wasn't a tournament to remember for Nicholas Pooran, both as captain and player. Besides, the southpaw's scores in the tourney read 5(9), 7(9), and 13(11) against Scotland, Zimbabwe, and Ireland respectively. Interestingly, Pooran had a commanding start in 2022, with fifties against India back in February. He failed to register double-digit scores in the last three innings ahead of the WC.
Career-best figures for Delany
Leg-spinner Gareth Delany was right on the money from the first over, conceding only five runs. His googly uprooted a rusty-looking Evin Lewis (13) before a tossed-up delivery outside off-stump got Pooran caught at the longer boundary. Delany then floored Rovman Powell (6) to eventually register his career-best figures in T20Is (3/16). He now has 32 wickets at 25.87.
Ireland have leveled the head-to-head count
The Irishmen have bettered their head-to-head record against the Windies in T20I cricket (3-3), besides a no-result each in 2012 and 2020. Interestingly, Ireland had bested WI by four runs in 2020 after smashing 208/7, which remains their highest T20I total against the Caribbeans.
Stirling truncates the chase
Skipper Balbirnie wasted no time and fetched 73 runs alongside Stirling before departing on a harmless delivery by Akeal Hosein. However, the job was done, with the right-hander compiling a 23-ball 37, hitting three fours and as many sixes. As per ESPNcricinfo, he now holds 1,711 runs at 23.12, surpassing England's Dawid Malan (1,692).
Stirling ends the run-drought
Veteran Stirling was dismissed for a duck against Zimbabwe, followed by a meek 10-ball 8 versus Scotland. He put his poor run to an end by slapping a 48-ball 66* in the must-win duel. He hit six fours and two sixes, thereby steering to 3,085 T20I runs at 28.83. Stirling clocked his 21st T20I fifty and now owns 22 fifty-plus scores, equalling Martin Guptill.