IRELAND are still awaiting their first win over a top eight side as West Indies stormed to a five wickets victory in Malahide to book their place in the Tri-Series final on Friday.

Ireland’s total of 327-5 was only four runs shy of their best ever in a one-day international and they had never lost having scored so many. But records are made to be broken and West Indies, who had never successfully chased more than 309, had 13 balls to spare when Jonathan Carter hit the winning boundary.

Andrew Balbirnie remains Ireland's class act with the bat and this was his fourth ODI century in the last 14 months, passing 3,000 international runs during his 124-ball innings of 135. He shared a partnership of 146 with Paul Stirling - a record for any wicket in a home ODI – with the Middlesex professional’s contribution 77 from 98 balls with eight fours and two sixes.

“It was a hard day for the bowlers,” said Stirling afterwards, “but Balbo is in brilliant form. He's playing a lot more positively and it is paying off. We know we need to put 100 overs together to win games of cricket and today we only got the first 50 right.”

Stirling was called on to bowl the 18th over but that usually means Ireland are in desperate need for a wicket.

"With a left hander in, it’s not a negative option,” he added, and I have a decent record against them, so it was nice to get four overs in and pick up a wicket.”

Number one spinner George Dockrell, however was wicketless while going for six runs an over and although Boyd Rankin did what he does best, taking three wickets, he went for 65 runs in less than eight overs as West Indies charged to victory, taking 23 off his last eight balls.

Ireland will persevere with Josh Little and Mark Adair but on an unhelpful pitch and a confident batting line-up this was another tough day at the office for the young bowlers.

The main reason was Sunil Ambris who turned his maiden international century into a marathon 40-over stay which was ended by a catch at backward point on 148, with 19 fours and a straight six off Rankin four balls before his dismissal.

Although West Indies, at that stage, still needed 76 from 10 overs, skipper Jason Holder and Carter needed only eight to see them home.

Encouragingly for Ireland, as they look ahead to Wednesday’s clash with Bangladesh at Clontarf, Kevin O’Brien (63 off 40 balls) and Mark Adair (25 not out from 13) ensured a strong finish to the innings but there was another failure for skipper William Porterfield, caught at slip for just three. It is now 22 innings with a top score of 33 across all three formats.