Twitter Reactions: Paul Stirling ravages the West Indies before the bowlers hold onto their nerves in a tight finish

Twitter Reactions: Paul Stirling ravages the West Indies before the bowlers hold onto their nerves in a tight finish

Poor application cost West Indies the match while Ireland bowlers must be commended for disciplined bowling.

Paul Stirling
Paul Stirling. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Current World T20 champions, the West Indies, were left mystified in the first T20I against Ireland. This match was a run-feast with over 400 runs scored through the course of 40 overs. Paul Stirling played a fabulous knock making full use of his experience and even crossed the 2000-run mark in T20I cricket. In what was the tight finish, the Irish bowlers held on to their nerves. This edge of the seat thriller entertained the fans thoroughly and Ireland was absolutely pumped with this victory.

Many eyebrows were raised when Ireland decided to bat first after winning the toss. However, in the hindsight of things, this decision turned out to be correct. While things could have gone either way, the Ireland bowlers must be commended for their efforts. To start off things, Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien built up a brilliant partnership that set the tone for the rest of the innings. They added together 154 runs in 12.3 overs before the right-hander was dismissed.

Kevin O’Brien, in 32 balls, mustered 48 runs. DJ Bravo, the comeback man, picked up the first wicket of the innings. Things slowed down after he got out. Paul Stirling got out for 95 runs in the next over and fell short of a well-deserved ton. Skipper Andrew Balbirnie crawled his way to a 11-ball 7. Gareth Delany and Gary Wilson scored 19 and 17 runs respectively off 12 balls each as Ireland put on 208/7. Though, with the kind of start that they got, they should have posted a bigger total.

West Indies fall short in what should have been a comfortable chase

The West Indies were in a good position throughout the chase. Evin Lewis provided them with a good start with a 29-ball 53. The likes of Lendl Simmons and Shimron Hetmyer scored 22 and 28 runs at a strike rate of above 150. Kieron Pollard, after promoting himself up, scored 31 runs from 15 balls. Thus, the team was in a good position. With only 16 runs required off the last two overs, the West Indies should have got over the line.

However, the trajectory changed from thereon. Craig Young dismissed Pooran for 26 in the 19th over and gave away just 3 runs. With 13 needed from last over, Joshua Little dismissed Sherfane Rutherford for 26 off 13 on the first ball. DJ Bravo hit a six off the second ball to bring the equation down to 7 off 4.

Just two runs came in the next two balls and the veteran got out on the fifth ball. The last ball was a dot as Ireland secured a 4-run win. Ireland have now taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match series with the second T20I set to be played on Saturday.

Here is how Twitterati reacted to this thrilling game of cricket: