Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie smash centuries as Ireland pull off record ODI chase

Ireland managed to pull off their best chase in one-day cricket after beating England in the third and final game of the one-day series played at The Rose Bowl in Southampton.

The day started with Ireland Captain Andrew Balbirnie winning the toss and opted to bowl first. The decision proved to be a good one as the visitors bowlers hit the right areas and reduced England to 44 for 3 after 8.1 overs.

James Vince, Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow perished for low scores to see England in a spot of bother in the early part of their innings.

England Captain Eoin Morgan and Tom Banton came together and put on a 146-run partnership to stabilize the innings for the home team.

Right from the beginning, Morgan played with positive intent and smashed boundaries at regular intervals. He notched up his 14th ton in limited-overs cricket for England. Morgan perished in the 26th over after scoring 106 runs off 84 balls with the help of 15 boundaries and 4 sixes.

Banton proved to be an ideal partner at the other and managed to register his maiden half-century for England in one-day internationals. Morgan and Banton perished in quick succession to see England reduced to 202 for 5.

Moeen Ali and Sam Billings failed to make any contributions to see England slip into further trouble at 216 for 7 after 33.2 overs.

Once again it was bowling all-rounder David Willey, who put in another fabulous batting performance to bail the side out of trouble. He put on a 73-run partnership with Tom Curran to help England get close to 300-run mark.

Left-hander smashed his second consecutive half-century of the series and struck three fours and three sixes in his innings. He was well supported by Curran, who chipped in with 38 runs off 54 balls with the help of four boundaries.

Saqib Mahmood also added vital runs at the end to see England get dismissed for 328 in 49.5 overs.

For Ireland, medium-pacer Craig Young was the pick of the bowlers and finished with figures of 3 for 53 in his ten overs.

Chasing a mammoth target of 329 runs for victory, openers Paul Stirling and Gareth Delaney put on a 50-run partnership to get the side off to a decent start.

Delaney once again failed to register a decent score and perished in the ninth over of the innings.

Captain Andrew Balbirnie and Paul Stirling came together and put on a record 264-run partnership to put Ireland in a strong position to win the match.

Opener Paul Stirling looked in his elements from the start and decided to take on the England bowlers. He notched up his ninth ton in limited-overs cricket for Ireland.

He played exceedingly well and finished the innings with the top-score of 142 runs off 128 balls with the help of nine fours and six sixes. He was well supported by Andrew Balbirnie, who smashed his sixth century in limited-overs cricket.

Despite losing Stirling and Balbirnie in quick succession, Harry Tector and Kevin O’Brien looked composed at the crease and put on an unbeaten 50-run partnership to steer Ireland to a famous win on English soil.

For his outstanding batting performance, Paul Stirling was named player of the match. For his brilliant contributions with bat and ball, England pacer David Willey was awarded player of the series.

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