Stirling stars in win over Zimbabwe

Paul Stirling in action for Ireland. Photo: Presseye
Paul Stirling in action for Ireland. Photo: Presseye
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Paul Stirling was once again right in the thick of the action as Ireland’s cricketers pulled off a nail-biting last-ball win over Zimbabwe in the World Twenty20 opener in Bangladesh on St Patrick’s Day.

Zimbabwe had posted 163-5 for their 20 overs, before Stirling’s blistering 60 off 34 balls placed Ireland firmly in the driving seat.

And, going in to the final over, the boys in green needed just four runs to win. But the wickets of Ed Joyce and Max Sorensen left their hopes hanging by a thread.

However, Stuart Thompson registered a bye off the final delivery to claim a three-wicket victory, with Zimbabwean wicketkeeper Brendan Taylor missing a run-out.

The win means Phil Simmons’ men have given themselves a big chance of qualifying for the Super 10s.

Ireland are set to take on United Arab Emirates at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium today, before locking horns with the Netherlands at the same venue on Friday.

Former Belfast High School pupil Stirling (right), whose knock included nine fours and a six, tweeted after the game: “Great team effort today! Roll on Wednesday, two toughies left. Thanks for the messages folks.”