Saturday 24 March 2012 

Stirling Blast Confirms Tournament Win For Ireland

Stirling Blast Confirms Tournament Win For Ireland
Stirling Blast Confirms Tournament Win For Ireland
© ICC / Ian Jacobs
 

Ireland 156-5 (Stirling 79, Dawlat Zadran 3-21) beat
Afghanistan 152-7 (Mohammad Shahzad 77) by 5 wickets
ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier Final, Dubai

Ireland beat Afghanistan by five wickets in the final of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in Dubai to confirm their place in Group B of the ICC World Twenty20 2012 alongside Australia and the West Indies.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan, who posted 152 for seven before Ireland chased down their target with seven balls to spare, will join reigning champions England and 2007 winners India in Group A.

Batting first, Afghanistan made good progress early on and thanks to an innings of 77 in 57 balls from Mohammad Shahzad, were able to make a competitive score.

He struck some powerful blows down the ground, hitting seven fours and two towering sixes before a brace of wickets from Max Sorensen and Kevin O'Brien pegged Afghanistan back.

Afghanistan got off to a perfect start when they were bowling when Dawlat Zadran bowled William Porterfield first ball.

However, Paul Stirling then took control of the game by blasting 79 in 38 balls, muscling nine fours and three sixes to put his  side in a winning position.

Ed Joyce (11) and Gary Wilson (31) offered support before Andrew Poynter's unbeaten 23 in 17 balls clinched the tournament victory.

© Cricket World 2012