Paul Stirling helps Ireland back on World T20 track

Ireland's Paul Stirling
Ireland's Paul Stirling

Paul Stirling claimed three wickets before blasting a half-century as Ireland defeated Jersey by seven wickets to get their World Twenty20 qualifying campaign back on track on Sunday.

Middlesex all-rounder Stirling was one of three Irish bowlers to claim a trio of scalps, along with Alex Cusack and John Mooney, who finished off the tail with a hat-trick, as Jersey slumped from 106 for two to 122 all out.

Stirling then did most of the damage with the bat as Ireland responded to the defeats by Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong to return to the top of the Group A table.

They had appeared set for another tricky afternoon when Jersey’s top order made hay in guiding them to 88 for one after 13 overs.

However, once Stirling arrived to pin the dangerous Jonty Jenner lbw for 26, Jersey collapsed in remarkable fashion.

Stirling returned three for 16 and Cusack claimed three for 26 before three slower balls from Mooney in the closing stages were not picked up to give him three for 20.

Captain Peter Gough top-scored for Jersey with 42, but only the first four batsman made double figures as they lost their final seven wickets in the space of 26 balls.

In reply, Stirling put on partnerships of 44 and 47 with William Porterfield (17) and Andy Balbirnie (32 not out) before falling for 55 having accrued seven fours and a six.

And although Kevin O’Brien fell for just eight, Balbirnie and Gary Wilson then saw Ireland home with 20 balls remaining.