We want to play against the best: Ireland skipper Balbirnie after Super 12 qualification
The captain was elated following the team’s superb win to oust two-time T20 World Champions
Hobart [Australia], October 21 (ANI): Ireland skipper Andrew Balbirnie expressed his happiness after his team’s win against West Indies to seal a place in the Super 12 stage.
The captain was elated following the team’s superb win to oust two-time T20 World Champions and expressed his desire to compete against the best cricketing teams in the world.
Balbirnie also heaped praises on Ireland’s experienced batter Paul Stirling who played a match-winning knock to chase down the West Indies total.
“We want to pit ourselves against the best. He (Stirling) is one of our best-ever batters. The way he played today, it made it easy for me and the way I played made it easy for him,” said Balbirnie.
He was also appreciative of the bowlers of the team and called the win a collective effort.
“The way Lorcan came in and played freely was great. It was a real all-around performance. The bowlers were superb, the wicket was good. A proud day to be Irish,” said the Irish captain.
The right-hand batter recognized the win against the West Indies as a big one after the team failed to qualify for the main draw of the T20 World Cup last year.
“It (win) means everything. We had a disappointing loss last year at the same stage. We did a lot of thinking and a lot of things changed back home. New coach and there were a couple of things that we wanted to do as a team, the way we wanted to play. Losing the first game and then coming back and beating a two-time champion in a must-win game … just couldn’t be prouder. Pretty emotional finish to the game, but we are just delighted as a group. A lot of things can happen on your day in T20 cricket,” said an emotional Balbirnie.
Explosive batter Paul Stirling remained unbeaten and played a match-winning knock of 66 runs from 48 deliveries to knock the West Indies out of the T20 World Cup 2022.
Chasing the target, Ireland went hell for leather from the beginning and scored 64 runs from their powerplay overs. Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie opened the inning for Ireland and took a liking to the West Indian bowlers clobbering them all over the park.
Akeal Hosein, who was smashed for 16 runs in his first over came back in the eighth over to dismiss the Irish captain Balbirnie for 37 off 23 balls. The batter made sure that his team got off to a flier and stitched a 73-run first-wicket partnership before walking back to the pavilion.
West Indies could only manage the Ireland captain’s wicket in the entire inning.
Lorcan Tucker walked in at number three and went about in the same fashion as his captain taking apart the West Indian bowlers.
Sterling continued his merry way to notch up his half-century in the 12th over off just 32 balls.
Tucker was caught out of Odean Smith in the same over but was called back as Smith had overstepped giving the batter a reprieve.
Things worsened for the West Indies as both the batter looked to score freely and ensured that the Indies never came back in the match.
The batting duo of Stirling and Tucker took Ireland over the line as they stitched a 77-run partnership.
The match saw West Indies opt to bat first and post a below-par total in the first inning.
Brandon King was the only batter to apply himself at the crease, remaining unbeaten on 62 runs.
Gareth Delany picked up three wickets for Ireland giving away just 16 runs, earning him the ‘Player of the Match’. (ANI)