Ire­land beat Eng­land

Fiji Sun - - SPORTS -

Lon­don: Ire­land beat Eng­land by seven wick­ets in the third Royal Lon­don one-day in­ter­na­tional at Southamp­ton thanks to a thrilling fi­nal over. Paul Stir­ling and An­drew Bal­birnie starred as 329 once again proved to be the magic num­ber for Ire­land, who claimed only a sec­ond win over Eng­land in their his­tory. Set an iden­ti­cal score to the one they fin­ished on to fa­mously beat Eng­land at the 2011 World Cup, a 214-run stand be­tween Stir­ling and cap­tain Bal­birnie laid the foun­da­tions in the fi­nal match of the Royal Lon­don se­ries. Stir­ling was run out for 142 while Bal­birnie holed out for 113 with 50 still re­quired from 33 de­liv­er­ies, but Kevin O’Brien - the hero of Ban­ga­lore - fit­tingly got them over the line from the penul­ti­mate ball with seven wick­ets to spare un­der lights. Af­ter be­ing asked to bat first, Eng­land had stut­tered to 44 for three but Eoin Morgan’s fan­tas­tic 106 from 84 balls was the cor­ner­stone of 328 all out in 49.5 overs, the cap­tain shar­ing a 146-run stand with Tom Ban­ton. Morgan, though, felt tight­ness in his groin and was re­stricted to a watch­ing brief as Stir­ling and Bal­birnie qui­etened the crit­i­cism of Ire­land’s top-or­der fol­low­ing their un­der-per­for­mance in the first two one-day­ers.

An­drew Bal­birnie

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