Ireland secure Cricket World Cup Super League points in DLS win over West Indies
An unbeaten fifty from youngster Harry Tector backed up a strong Irish bowling performance as the tourists picked up a five-wicket victory at Sabina Park.
Tied the series game one game apiece on top of the points, Ireland performed admirably despite missing several players with Covid-19, including skipper Andrew Balbirnie.
Led by Paul Stirling, Ireland were crafty, especially ball in hand, as Andy McBrine, Craig Young Josh Little made significant contributions.
McBrine finished with four wickets, also batting 35, to help Ireland to victory.
Substitute captain Stirling won the toss and opted to bowl, perhaps with the afternoon rain and DLS calculations in mind. It was the opening hitter’s first ODI in charge, and his bowlers backed his first call, thanks in large part to inroads made by Young. He claimed 3-12 in his first four overs and proved too much for Shai Hope (17), Justin Greaves (10) and Nicholas Pooran (1).
Roston Chase and Shamarh Brooks leveled off, only for McBrine to end the partnership on the 48, taking a smart Chase comeback for 13. McBrine then claimed the key wicket from Kieron Pollard for 1, as Little claimed the wicket from Jason Holder shortly thereafter.
Stirling was aggressive in his role as captain, and George Dockrell’s rotation trapped Brooks lbw for 43.
Despite the early dominance, not all went the way of the tourists, as a rush late in the West Indies innings took them to 229. A ninth-wicket partnership of 58 from just 27 balls from Romario Shepherd (50 from 41 balls) and Odean Smith (49 from 19 balls) changed momentum slightly, although the advantage remained Ireland, even after conceding nearly 30 extras. McBrine’s 4-29 was his second-best bowling figure in ODI cricket, putting him fifth on Ireland’s all-time ODI wickets list.
Stirling was his usual aggressive self with a bat in hand, making a quick shot 21 alongside longtime opening partner Will Porterfield, who made it 26. Stirling fell to the orthodox left arm of Akeal Hosein, but not before becoming the first Irish player to reach 5,000 ODI runs.
Porterfield fell late in the 10th, although McBrine and Tector built well to move the game out of reach for the hosts. McBrine fell on top of a well-directed short ball from Shepherd for 35, although Curtis Campher joined Tector in another solid position. Tector spoke about his sixth half-century of ODI in the last nine matches, but more importantly moved the side well into the lead on DLS when the game was delayed by rain.
When play resumed, Ireland, 26 runs in the lead on DLS, comfortably eliminated the remaining 11 runs.
Stirling was overwhelmed with the result, saluting his team’s spirits.
“It means a lot – we’re delighted with the way the guys reacted, coming off a tough loss the other day when we thought we were really in the game most of the time, and coming in to put on a performance like that. after the off-pitch activities that took place. We are delighted to have won today, we really are.”
The teams return for the third Super League World Cup match on Sunday at the same ground.