Ireland beat cricket world champions England in 3rd ODI


5th August, 2020 10:10:29 printer

Ireland beat cricket world champions England in 3rd ODI

Paul Stirling and captain Andrew Balbirnie both scored hundreds as Ireland completed a shock seven-wicket win over world champions England in the third one-day international at Southampton on Tuesday.

Stirling made 142 and Balbirnie 113, the pair putting on 264 for the second wicket as Ireland chased a target of 329.

When both were out in quick succession, however, it looked like Ireland might falter but Kevin O'Brien -- whose brilliant hundred set up Ireland's stunning win over England at the 2011 World Cup in Bangalore, helped see them to victory with just one ball to spare.

Ireland's win was all the more impressive as they had lost the first two matches in a three-game series after making lowly totals of 172 and 212-9.

And that's why although England were without several World Cup winners including Test skipper Joe Root and pace bowlers Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes because of overlapping red and white-ball commitments -- the first Test against Pakistan in Manchester starts on Wednesday -- few would have given the Irish much hope of reaching a target above 300.

This was Ireland's first ODI win over England in England and their first against a major nation since the 2015 World Cup.

Earlier England captain Eoin Morgan, a former Ireland batsman, made 106 against his native country after being dropped by opposing skipper Balbirneie on 67.

But with England on course for an impregnable total, they lost three wickets for 13 runs in declining from 190-3 to 203-6.

Ireland's victory, which rounded off the first ODI series since the coronavirus lockdown, also gave them 10 points in the new World Cup Super League, which will determine qualification for the 2023 50-over showpiece in India.

Come the last 10 overs, Ireland needed 76 to win with nine wickets standing.

But Stirling was run out backing up to end a superb 128-ball innings featuring nine fours and six sixes before Balbirnie, whose hundred came off exactly 100 balls, holed out in the deep off leg-spinner Adil Rashid.

But both Harry Tector and O'Brien hit valauble boundaries as Ireland got the target down to eight runs off six balls, with paceman Saqid Mahmood bowling the last over of the match.

O'Brien hit two and a single to make it five needed from four balls before Tector's single got the senior batsman at the crease back on strike.

Ireland now needed just three runs from four balls and Mahmood then promply bowled a high full toss that was called a no-ball and from which Ireland took a further run off the bat.

O'Brien then hit the winning run when he thrashed Mahmood through backward square leg.

England, setting a total for the first time this series were in trouble at 14-2 when Dublin-born left-hander Morgan came in after the loss of openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow.

But he went on to share a fourth-wicket stand of 146 with Tom Banton, whose 58 was his maiden ODI fifty.