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27-Jun-2023 15:25:00 GMT
2023 ICC World Cup Qualifier

Stirling stars with 162 as Ireland end campaign with big win

Ireland 349 for 4 (Stirling 162, Balbirnie 66, Tector 57, Sanchit 3-46) beat UAE 211 (Waseem 45, Sanchit 44, Dockrell 2-32, McBrine 2-34) by 138 runs

Bulawayo: Ireland produced a stunning performance with the bat to beat UAE by 138 runs in Bulawayo.

Paul Stirling was the star, smashing an outstanding 162 off 134 balls to help his side to a huge 349/4 – the second-highest in Ireland men’s ODI history.

Solid contributions from Andy McBrine (24 from 28) and Andy Balbirnie (66 from 88) helped set up the big total.

And some huge hitting saw Ireland add 124 in the last 12 overs.

Stirling played a large part in that, whacking 15 fours and eight sixes in his remarkable knock, the second-highest ever in Ireland’s ODI history, behind his own effort of 177 against Canada back in 2010.

And Lorcan Tucker’s 11-ball 19* and George Dockrell’s seven-ball 15* lifted Ireland to a score that UAE were always going to struggle to chase.

Sanchit Sharma returned the best figures of 3/46, and he excelled with the bat too as UAE fell short in their reply.

A decent top-order return from Muhammad Waseem 45 helped get UAE off to a decent start, with Aryansh Sharma (18) and Vriitya Aravind (10) helping set a platform despite not maximising decent starts.

But it was the dismissal of captain Waseem that took the wind out of UAE’s sails after his dominant role in the 58-run opening partnership.

The UAE skipper was run out in unusual circumstances, leaving his crease after being hit in the glove and signalling for a physio, but doing so before the ball had gone dead, with Andrew Balbirnie hitting the stumps to run him out.

Decent knocks from Basil Hameed (39) and Sharma (44) kept the game going, but Ireland squeezed UAE hard, with Josh Little, Andy McBrine, George Dockrell and Curtis Campher all taking two wickets apiece.

And the final wicket fell with UAE on 211 and still well short.

Both teams already knew they had missed out on qualification to the Super Six stage prior to this match, having each lost their previous three games in the Group Stage.

But victory for Ireland will be a morale booster after a tricky recent record in One Day Internationals.

These two sides will now head into the play-offs to determine final finishing standings in the tournament.

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