Aggression against spin and a calculated approach to the chase was the key for Ireland, as they pulled off their second-ever win against England in the third and final ODI of the three-match series at the Rose Bowl on Wednesday.
Ireland skipper Andy Balbirine won the toss for the third time in the series making it a 3-0 with the toss and put in the World Champions to bat.
With England already sealing the series 2-0 coming into the 3rd ODI, they set the visitors a target of 329. The same score Ireland managed to chase down against England at Bengaluru in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup. There Kevin O Brien emerged as the hero then and Paul Stirling along with skipper Andy Balbirine emerged as the heroes now.
Ireland chased down the English target with seven wickets and a ball to spare riding on a superb 142 from the Irish opener Paul Stirling.
Stirling Enroute his ninth ODI hundred stitched an Irish record second-wicket partnership of 214 with the skipper Andy Balbirine chipping in with an exquisite 113.
2-0 down in the series after two batting nightmares, skipper Balbirine stuck with his youngsters but knew that the senior batsmen with the likes of Stirling, O Brien and he needs to rise to the occasion.
The English spinners have had the upper hand against the Irish batsman throughout the first two games with the Irish batsmen struggling to rotate strike or hit boundaries.
But this was not the case in the third ODI as Ireland’s two of the best players of spin together decided to launch the attack with Balbirine sweeping Moeen Ali and Stirling exploring every part of the ground with Adil Rashid set the course for Ireland.
It turned out to be a good day for the Irish as for it was another Irishman, Eoin Morgan who single-handedly stood out for England with the bat scoring a fine 108. Morgan looked in sublime touch as he batted through the innings with very little support around him as wickets kept falling at regular intervals.
Banton (58) and Willey (51) showed some promise with the bat for England but they failed to convert a good start.
SCORECARD IN BRIEF
England 328 (49.5 overs; E Morgan 106, T Banton 58; C Young 3-53)
Ireland 329-3 (49.5 overs; P Stirling 142, A Balbirnie 113; A Rashid 1-61)
Ireland won by seven wickets
Man Of the Match – Paul Stirling