Irish skipper Andy Balbirnie has praised the resilience of his side after they bounced back from an ODI series whitewash to win the first T20I in Grenada.
In a dramatic finale, Josh Little held his nerve to secure a four-run win, and add to famous Irish wins against the West Indies.
It was their second T20 win over them, adding to a World Cup ODI victory in 2015, as well as beating them on Irish soil over the years in Belfast, Sion Mills and Dublin.
“Everyone is ecstatic, we came so close in that second ODI and it maybe affected us in that third ODI, so to show the bottle and come out against one of the top teams in T20 cricket and get a win was great for the vibe of the team," said Balbirnie after the game.
The win was set up by an Irish T20I record opening stand of 154 between Man of the Match Paul Stirling and Kevin O'Brien, with the 93 scored in the powerplay not just an Irish record but a world record.
“It was just about as well as I’ve ever seen Paul bat in T20 cricket – he’s a world-class player and he’s played all around the world, he’s such as important player for us in all forms of cricket and he leads from the front, which he did today.
“I think we lost Kevin and Paul quite quickly together having batted so brilliantly for us – they are our two key men and they showed it today. Maybe we could be a bit better when we do lose set batsmen – we need to learn to rotate a bit better. But when you get 200+ in any T20 you feel in the game.
Ireland didn't have it all their own way but held their nerve in the closing stages to seal the win, and Balbirnie praised his attack who had taken early punishment.
"They got off to a pretty good start, but we kept our composure and that’s all I asked from the guys, just to be clear with what they wanted to do and they did that.
“George’s last over was brilliant – to come back after a couple of the batters got after him was great. That’s what T20 cricket is about, if you bowl one over like that you can change the game.”
The teams play the final two matches of the tour over the weekend in St Kitts and Balbirnie wants to claim a series win.
“It’s great to get a win obviously but you want to win a series and make history, so if we can do that in the next two games we can go home very happy.”