Ireland completes massive chase to stun England in third ODI

Paul Stirling and Andy Balbirnie scored centuries as Ireland pulled off a tremendous chase of 329 runs for a seven-wicket win in the final ODI of the series.

Stirling and Balbirnie take a run during their 264-run stand for the second wicket.   -  Reuters Photo

Ireland's Paul Stirling and captain Andy Balbirnie struck superb centuries as the tourist chased down a daunting target of 329 to stun world champions England with a seven-wicket win in the third and final One-Day International at the Rose Bowl on Tuesday.

England, which had already sealed the series, batted first and recovered from early trouble to post 328 all out one ball shy of their 50 overs with captain Eoin Morgan providing another classy century against the country of his birth.

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But Ireland never looked intimidated in its chase as Stirling smashed 142 from 128 balls and Balbirnie 113 from 112 to put on a record 214 for the second wicket, and the second highest partnership for Ireland in ODIs as it reached its target with one ball to spare.

The series is the first in the International Cricket Councils 13-team Super League that serves as the qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup in India, where the host and the leading seven sides will play at the finals.

England slipped to 44-3 at the start of its innings, but Morgan, who previously played 23 ODIs for Ireland, took the attack to the bowlers and was well supported by Tom Banton (58) as they put on 146 in 18.2 overs for the fourth wicket.

David Willey (51) and Tom Curran (38 not out) added 73 more for the eighth wicket to see England past 300.

Ireland raced along in its reply, aided by a poor length from the home bowlers, with Stirling reaching his ninth ODI century and captain Balbirnie his sixth, but neither could see their side home.

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The visitor needed eight off the last over bowled by Saqib Mahmood, and was aided by a waist-high no-ball that provided an extra ball and a free hit.

Irelands only other victory over England in 13 matches came at the 2011 World Cup when it scored 329 for seven as Kevin OBrien scored a century.

He was at the crease to hit the winning runs in this latest victory to seal another famous Ireland success.

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