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Ger Siggins

Ireland stormed through their first game in the sudden death phase with an easy ten wicket win over Canada. They play Netherlands next and they will be a better test than the dismal North Americans.

Victory came with an excellent display of fast bowling by Trent Johnston and Max Sorensen, and a stunning assault on the Canadian bowlers by Paul Stirling.

"That's exactly what we wanted from Paul from day one," Johnston told the Irish Daily Star.

"He had a chat with Simmo last night which gave him that confidence to go out there and do that. That's his job up front -- to hit the ball out of the stadium."

Ireland captain William Porterfield agreed: "Stirlo hit 15 off the first over with pretty clean hitting and that put them right on the back foot.

Johnston took a wicket in his first over -- the fifth time Ireland had taken a wicket in the first over in their eight games here.

The Irish pace pair has been a key to their seven-match winning streak. Johnston took the man of the match accolade for his figures of 4-1-9-2.

"The more games we play, the better I'm getting. I like bowling here. It reminds me of Australian type pitches as there's a bit in it early on. As a bowler you know there's always something there if you're prepared to bend your back."

Max Sorensen took a pasting in his first over, going for three 4s, but redeemed himself on his return with a wicket maiden when the Canadian captain Rizwan Cheema tried to clip him over mid-on. He ended with 3-20.

Sorensen, a naturalised South African on his first Irish tour, has had a mixed start to the tournament.

"Max's problem at the moment is he's probably trying too hard," said Johnston. "When he gets in and relaxes he bowls his areas and today he picked up three wickets.

"I'm rooming with him at the moment and we talk a lot of cricket and he wants to learn. It looks good for Irish cricket that you've got guys like him coming through."

Ireland's fielders ensured ten boundary-free overs in mid-innings, while George Dockrell also had his best figures of the tournament as Canada scrabbled past 100.

Ireland went for the small target from the start, with Paul Stirling teeing off with 15 in the first over. The Middlesex man reached his fifty in 21 balls - the fastest scored for Ireland in any form of the game. It broke the 23 ball record set by Porterfield against Kenya eight days ago.

Strangely, neither knock won the man of the match award. The Irish pair hit 20 boundaries in fewer than ten brutal overs. It was the highest partnership for any wicket for Ireland in twenty20, and their second century stand.

Stirling's Middlesex team-mate, Tim Murtagh, arrived here last night and is on standby to come into the squad should Alex Cusack's groin strain rule him out after a fitness test last night.

Trent Johnston's knee was on ice after the game as he complained of soreness and the unrelenting ICC schedule which could see Ireland play 10 games in 12 days.