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21-Oct-2022 16:01:00 GMT
Ire vs WI - 11th match Group B, T20 WC, Hobart

Ireland knock out West Indies with easy victory

Ireland 150 for 1 (Stirling 66*, Tucker 47*) beat West Indies 146 for 5 (King 62*, Delany 3-16) by nine wickets

Hobart: Brilliant Ireland advanced in the T20 World Cup by dumping out two-time champions West Indies with a nine-wicket victory in Hobart.

In a winner-take-all final match of the group stage, Ireland coasted a pursuit of 147 with 15 balls to spare.

Paul Stirling added a whirlwind 73 with captain Andy Balbirnie for the first wicket and ended on 66 not out.

A superb bowling display restricted West Indies to 146-5, with leg-spinner Gareth Delany picking up 3-16.

How much this result can be classed as a shock is debatable - West Indies are far from the force that won the title in 2012 and 2016 and lost to Scotland in their opening match on Monday, while Ireland are a Test nation in their own right.

But it is still another famous win at a global tournament for the Irish, who finish second in Group B and move on to Group One of the Super 12s, alongside hosts Australia, England, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

They will play England in Melbourne on Wednesday (05:00 BST), the first time the two sides have met in a global event since the Irish pulled off a stunning upset at the 2011 50-over World Cup.

Ireland's reputation for claiming scalps at major events had been on the wane - they have not made it through the first stage of a T20 World Cup since 2009 and did not qualify for the 2019 50-over tournament.

Indeed, they were on the brink of an early exit three-quarters of the way through Wednesday's game against Scotland, only for a blistering turnaround to set up this high-stakes encounter with West Indies.

From the moment West Indies won the toss and elected to bat, Ireland were the superior side.

The bowlers rarely erred, with the spinners in particular choking West Indies in the middle overs. Off-spinner Simi Singh supported Delany by sneaking 1-11 from two overs, and it was all backed up by some faultless fielding.

The Windies gained momentum by clubbing 34 from the final three overs, but Stirling and Balbirnie made a rapid start to the chase with some free-flowing strokeplay.

At 64-0 at the end of the six-over powerplay, the game felt as good as done.

Although Balbirnie chopped left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein to point for 37, Stirling found another ally in Lorcan Tucker in an unbroken stand of 77.

Tucker ended on 45, hitting the winning runs to the delight of some passionate Irish fans at the Bellerive Oval.

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