Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie shared a record-breaking partnership as Ireland chased down to beat England in the third one-day international at the Aegas Bowl.

The pair had come into the game short of runs as the top order had failed in the first two games but delivered when it mattered.

The stats show a stand of 214 in 196 balls, but what they don't show is the manner in which the pair complimented each other perfectly in an almost nerveless pursuit of 329.

(Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie).

Stirling was back to his naturally attacking best, starting with a series of crunching drives and square cuts. Crucially he upset the rhythm of Adil Rashid, but slog sweeping him again and again out of the attack.

Balbirnie was content to rotate the strike, punctuated by the occasional boundary as Ireland never let the required rate get out of control.

They offered little in the way of chances, Stirling dropped only on 95 when Vince got fingertips to a powerful pull, and again on 139 when the same fielder couldn't cling on running back from mid-on.

A mix-up saw Stirling run out for 142 from 128 balls (9 fours, 6 sixes), and when Balbirnie fell for a run-a-ball 113 with 50 still needed from 33 balls, the contest was in the balance.

Harry Tector and Kevin O'Brien - Ireland past and Ireland future however knew what had to be done, having been in this situation many times in T20 games over the past year.

They found boundaries at crucial times and aided by a few bowling extras got the Irish over the line off the penultimate ball.

Ice cool from both with Tector making an unbeaten 29 and O'Brien 21 not out in a memorable win.

It was a day for the Irish as the third centurion of the day was English skipper Eoin Morgan.

The steely eyed Dubliner came to the middle at his customary number four after early strikes by the very impressive Craig Young (3-53) and the recalled Mark Adair, as both accounted for the much vaunted opening pair of Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow.

Morgan ruthlessly dispatched anything remotely errant, and despite being struck on the helmet by a short ball, recovered to club any other bouncers out of the park.

He top scored with 106 from 84 balls (15 fours, 4 sixes) adding 146 with Tom Banton (58).

While he was there, a total of 380-400 looked possible, but his dismissal by Josh Little sparked a mini wobble, wickets in this period too for Gareth Delany, Young and Curtis Campher.

David Willey (51) got England over the 300, but Ireland knew at the innings break they had a chance.

The omens were there as it was one run more than Bangalore 2011, and on a night to remember this young Irish team wrote their own chapter in the history books.

The changing of the old guard and a policy of playing youth has paid off for Graham Ford and the selectors.

The importance of this victory can't be over-estimated. Not only does it gives the Irish ten points in the quest for World Cup qualification, it shows that they are a serious side who can't be taken lightly.

There were times in the series when England were guilty of over confidence, taking the Irish lightly, and it came back to bite them.

What is significant though is the nature of the win and the possibility of extra fixtures given the geographical location next door to England. Given the uncertain nature of future games, should a touring side pull out or require a few games preparation, who better than the Irish to provide that?

It could prove to be a more important win than the 2011 World Cup. Let us hope so.


England Vs Ireland
1-Innings Match Played At Ageas Bowl, Southampton, 04-Aug-2020, One Day International (LA)
Ireland Win by 7 wkts

Round 1005
Toss won by Ireland
Umpires Mark Saggers (Eng) - D Millns (Eng) - M Burns (Eng)
Umpire notes Match referee: Phil Whitticase (Eng). TV Ump: A Wharf (Eng)
Home Side England
Player of Match PR Stirling
Comment 1005/15 3-match series
England won the series 2-1
Points Awarded England 0, Ireland 10

England 1st Innings 328/10 All Out (Overs 49.5)

Batsman Fieldsman Bowler Runs Min Bls 4s 6s
JJ Roy c A Balbirnie b CA Young 1 4 4 0 0
JM Bairstow+   b MR Adair 4 16 7 0 0
JM Vince c LJ Tucker b CA Young 16 32 18 3 0
EJG Morgan* c HT Tector b J Little 106 100 84 15 4
T Banton lbw b GJ Delany 58 88 51 6 1
SW Billings c MR Adair b CA Young 19 32 18 3 0
MM Ali c PR Stirling b C Campher 1 6 5 0 0
DJ Willey c A Balbirnie b C Campher 51 60 42 3 3
TK Curran not out   38 71 54 4 0
AU Rashid run out LJ Tucker   3 10 3 0 0
SI Mahmood c A Balbirnie b J Little 12 22 15 1 0
extras   (b0 lb10 w7 nb2) 19        
TOTAL   10 wickets for 328        
1-2(JJ Roy) 2-14(JM Bairstow) 3-44(JM Vince) 4-190(EJG Morgan) 5-202(T Banton)
6-203(MM Ali) 7-216(SW Billings) 8-289(DJ Willey) 9-298(AU Rashid)
10-328(SI Mahmood)
Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
CA Young 10 1 53 3 1 -
MR Adair 7 0 45 1 1 1
J Little 8.5 0 62 2 1 -
C Campher 10 1 68 2 2 1
AR McBrine 8 0 61 0 - -
GJ Delany 6 0 29 1 1 -

Ireland 1st Innings 329/3 Closed (Overs 49.5)

Batsman Fieldsman Bowler Runs Min Bls 4s 6s
PR Stirling run out JJ Roy/TK Curran   142 174 128 9 6
GJ Delany   b DJ Willey 12 40 21 1 0
A Balbirnie* c SW Billings b AU Rashid 113 146 112 12 0
HT Tector not out   29 41 26 3 0
KJ O'Brien not out   21 28 15 1 1
extras   (b0 lb2 w7 nb3) 12        
TOTAL   3 wickets for 329        
1-50(GJ Delany) 2-264(PR Stirling) 3-279(A Balbirnie)

DNBs : LJ Tucker, C Campher, MR Adair, CA Young, JB Little  

Bowler Overs Maid Runs Wkts wd nb
DJ Willey 10 1 70 1 3 1
SI Mahmood 9.5 0 58 0 - 1
TK Curran 10 0 67 0 1 1
MM Ali 7 0 51 0 - -
AU Rashid 10 1 61 1 2 -
JM Vince 3 0 20 0 - -