Thursday 23 February 2012 

Stirling Shines In Ireland Victory

Stirling Shines In Ireland Victory
Stirling Shines In Ireland Victory
© REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri. Picture Supplied by Action Images
 

Ireland 132-2 (Stirling 65no) beat
Kenya 131-7 (Stirling 2-21) by 8 wickets
Second Twenty20 International, Mombasa

Paul Stirling’s all-round heroics gave Ireland a comfortable victory in the second Twenty20 International against Kenya in Mombasa. His innings of 65 not out from 52 balls followed up his earlier contribution of two for 21 with the ball to give the visitors the series with one match still to play.

Kenya had begun proceedings by winning the toss and electing to bat, and they got off to a steady start reaching 27 before losing their first wicket – that of Duncan Allan for six – to Stirling. Captain Collins Obuya and Tanmay Mishra then each made 13 before departing to John Mooney and Kevin O’Brien respectively, and when David Obuya followed soon after for an obdurate 28 from 35 balls the home side were in danger of wasting their promising start.

Fortunately, Rakep Patel added late momentum with a 22-ball 27 as Kenya finished with a flourish to give their spinners at least a fighting chance in the second half; closing on 131 for seven.

However, the Irish duo of William Porterfield and Stirling came out bristling with intent and had virtually put the match beyond the home side by the time Porterfield fell for 23 from 22 balls at the beginning of the eighth over to leave them on 63 for one. Kevin O’Brien was bowled by Hiren Varaiya a short while later, but Stirling found support from Gary Wilson, who stroked an unbeaten 22, and Ireland coasted home with 15 balls and eight wickets to spare; again reasserting their position as cricket’s leading associate member.

Kenya, meanwhile, will be left to reflect on several wasted starts by their batsmen in this match, and left wondering whether a tour that began on such a promising note – with a narrow defeat in the four-day fixture and victory in the opening One-day International – will end with a series whitewash when the two teams meet again tomorrow.

© Cricket World 2012