Kingston (Jamaica), Jan 13 (MNN) An unbeaten fifty from youngster Harry Tector backed with a strong Irish bowling performance helped Ireland to a five-wicket win via DLS against West Indies in second ODI here on Thursday.
Levelling the series one match apiece on top of the points, Ireland performed admirably in spite of missing multiple players out with Covid-19, including skipper Andrew Balbirnie, at Sabina Park.
Led by Paul Stirling, Ireland were canny, particularly with ball in hand, as Andy McBrine, Craig Young Josh Little made significant contributions.
McBrine ended with four wickets, also compiling 35 with the bat, to help Ireland to victory.
Stand-in captain Stirling won the toss and elected to bowl, perhaps with afternoon rain and DLS calculations in mind.
It was the opening batter’s first ODI in charge, and his bowlers backed his early decision, largely through the inroads made by Young.
He claimed 3-12 in his first four overs, and proved too much for Shai Hope (17), Justin Greaves (10), and Nicholas Pooran (1).
Roston Chase and Shamarh Brooks steadied, only for McBrine to end the partnership on 48, taking a smart return catch off Chase for 13. McBrine then claimed the key wicket of Kieron Pollard for 1, as Little claimed Jason Holder’s wicket soon after.
Stirling was aggressive in his captaincy, and the spin of George Dockrell trapped Brooks lbw for 43.
Despite the early dominance, not all went the tourists way, as a late-innings scramble from the West Indies took them to 229.
A ninth-wicket partnership of 58 off just 27 balls from Romario Shepherd (50 from 41 balls) and Odean Smith (49 off 19 balls) swung momentum slightly, though the upper hand remained Ireland’s, even after conceding almost 30 extras.
McBrine’s 4-29 was his second-best bowling figures in ODI cricket, moving him into fifth place on Ireland’s all-time ODI wicket-taking list.
Stirling was his usual aggressive self with bat in hand, making a quick-fire 21 next to long-time opening partner Will Porterfield, who made 26.
Stirling fell to the left-arm orthodox of Akeal Hosein, but not before becoming the first Irish player to reach 5000 ODI runs.
Porterfield fell at the end of the 10th over, though McBrine and Tector built well to move the game out of the hosts’ reach. McBrine fell to a top-edge from a well-directed Shepherd short ball for 35, though Curtis Campher joined Tector in another strong stand.
Tector brought up his sixth ODI half-century in the last nine matches, though more importantly moved the side well in front on DLS when the match was delayed by rain.
When play resumed, Ireland, 26 runs ahead on DLS, knocked off the remaining 11 runs comfortably.
Stirling was overwhelmed with the result, hailing the spirits of his team.
“It means a lot – we’re delighted with how the lads responded, coming from a tough loss the other day where we thought we were really in the game a lot of the time, and to come and put on a performance like this after the off-field activities that have gone on. We’re delighted to get the win today, we really are.”
The teams return for the third World Cup Super League match on Sunday at the same ground.