Ireland hammer Nepal to maintain control of Group A
Ireland thrashed Nepal by 8 wickets at Stormont today, maintaining their unbeaten record in Group A of the Twenty20 World Cup Pre-Qualifier.
With William Porterfield having elected to take the field, the Irish seamers ran through the Nepalese order in quick time, dismissing them for a paltry 53 in only 14.3 overs.
Only Sagar Pun, the diminutive opening batsman, offered any kind of resistance with 20 off 18 balls, but the other Nepalese batsmen fell in a procession.
Alex Cusack struck in the third over, having Anil Mandal caught at mid-off; John Mooney continued his good form by removing Pun and Pradeep Airee; and Kevin O'Brien then tore through the Nepalese middle order, taking 3 for 8 in his four overs.
The last five wickets fell for only three runs as the Nepalese tail failed to wag. Stuart Thompson picked up three of those five, claiming 3 for 10.
Four of the Irish bowlers - Cusack was the exception - recorded their best T20 figures for Ireland and Thompson's were his best across all formats.
It was a dominant performance from the Irish, who fully exploited the helpful conditions. The Nepalese may have batted abysmally, but the Irish did not let them play any better.
The runs were then chased down without undue concern in only eight overs. Niall O'Brien (3) may have played on to Sompal Kami, but Stirling (29 off 21 balls) and Porterfield (18*) took the scores to parity, the pair of them driving crisply on both sides of the pitch.
Stirling was then bowled, flicking at Kami, who finished creditably with 2 for 28, but man of the match Kevin O'Brien scored the winning run off the next delivery, ensuring that this was the shortest match in the history of the T20 World Cup Qualifiers.
Ireland next play Papua New Guinea at Stormont on Wednesday morning, while Nepal resume their campaign against Hong Kong in the following match on the same ground.