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Andy McBrine stars in thriller as Ireland clinch series

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Published in Cricket
Sunday, 16 January 2022 21:04

Ireland 213 for 8 (McBrine 59, Tector 52, Chase 3-44) beat West Indies 212 (Hope 52, McBrine 4-28, Young 3-43) by two wickets

Ireland won its first bilateral ODI series against a Test-playing nation other than Zimbabwe and Afghanistan by beating West Indies in a thriller in Kingston to clinch the series 2-1. The star of the show was allrounder Andy McBrine whose 4 for 28 first restricted West Indies to 212. Then with the bat, he made a sturdy 59 to guide Ireland's tense chase.

There were contributions from Harry Tector, who hit 52, and stand-in captain Paul Stirling, who smashed a 38-ball 44 up top to set the tone for the chase.

Ireland were cruising at 152 for 2 at one stage, but then slumped to 208 for 8, with medium pacer Odean Smith triggering the collapse, with spin twins Roston Chase and Akeal Hosein also chipping in with big strikes.

Smith had McBrine caught behind to start the slump. Then Chase dismissed Neil Rock, Curtis Campher and Tector in three of his next four overs as the visitors suddenly encountered turbulence.

Ireland were 190 for 5 at the stage, but would slip further when Hosein dismissed Gareth Delany for 10 off 5 deliveries when the batter danced down but ended up ballooning the ball to point. Then George Dockrell nicked to Jason Holder at slip.

Although as many as seven overs remained to get the required five runs, Ireland had just two wickets in hand. But the pair of Mark Adair and Craig Young safely negotiated Chase's final over before Young hit the winning boundary off Romario Shepherd.

Earlier, Shai Hope dominated a 72-run opening stand for West Indies, cracking 53 from only 39 balls in an unusual display of hitting which was far removed from the sedate starts he is known to provide. But once Young had Hope hooking to fine leg, the hosts started losing their way with the bat: 72 without loss in the 11th over soon became 119 for 7 by the time of the 28th.

McBrine got three of the seven wickets to fall after Young also sent back Hope's opening partner Justin Greaves. He first had Nicholas Pooran leg before after it first seemed like Pooran got an inside edge on to his pads before being caught by slip, and followed that up by trapping Shamarh Brooks in front of the stumps. But the key wicket came in the 20th over, when Kieron Pollard inside-edge to leg slip.

The seven quick wickets had left it to Holder and Hosein to rebuild, which they did by adding 63 for the eighth wicket before Delany ran Holder out. Smith then smacked a four and two sixes in an unbeaten 20 off 10 deliveries, but McBrine and Young - who finished with 3 for 43 - wrapped the West Indies tail up to limit them to 212.

McBrine showed the way in the run chase, eventually being chosen the Player of the Match as well as the Player of the Series, having scored 128 runs and bagged ten wickets across the three matches. The win pushed Ireland up to No. 3 on the points table of the World Cup Super League, which is the pathway for direct qualification for the 2023 ODI World Cup in India.
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