Southampton, Aug 5: Ireland shocked world champions England in their own den as skipper Andrew Balbirnie and Paul Stirling guided the visitors to a stunning seven-wicket at Southampton on Tuesday (Aug 4).
While Stirling powered the visitor’s innings with a stellar 142, captain Balbirnie scored 113 to set up the win. The pair put on 264 for the second wicket as Ireland chased a target of 329.
When both wickets went in quick succession, it looked like the hosts could pull off a series sweep, but that was not to be as Kevin O’Brien took Ireland over the line. O’Brien, whose brilliant hundred set up Ireland’s stellar win over England at the 2011 World Cup in Bengaluru, scored a 21 off 15 and scored the winning runs to help Ireland stun the hosts.
Though England won the three-match ODI series 2-1, the final ODI turned out to be a thriller, as Ireland chased down the target with one ball to spare. Ireland's win was all the more impressive as they had lost the first two matches after making lowly totals of 172 and 212-9.
Ireland also claim their first points in the new ICC Cricket World Cup Super League by beating the reigning champions in the format.
Earlier England captain Eoin Morgan made 106 against his native country. But with England on course for an impregnable total, they took three wickets for 13 runs as they slumped 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.
England 328, 50 overs (E Morgan 106, T Banton 58, D Willey 51; C Young 3-53) lost to Ireland 329-3, 49.5 overs (P Stirling 142, A Balbirnie 113)
(With inputs from agencies)