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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
Ian Ransom

Paul Stirling smashes half-century as Ireland eliminate West Indies to make Super 12s in T20 Cricket World Cup

Paul Stirling was Ireland's hero

Paul Stirling smashed a glittering half-century as Ireland eliminated twice champions West Indies from the T20 World Cup and advanced to the Super 12 phase with a nine-wicket thrashing in Hobart on Friday.

The burly redhead's unbeaten 66 from 48 balls helped Ireland mow down a modest total of 146 for five with more than two overs to spare on a cloudy afternoon at Bellerive Oval.

Brandon King scored an unbeaten 62 for the West Indies but had little support as the Caribbeans made their earliest exit from the global showpiece since the inaugural 2007 tournament in South Africa.

All-rounder Gareth Delany sucked the wind out of the West Indies' batsmen, capturing 3-16 with his legspin in the later middle overs.

"It's obviously an incredible day for us," said Delany.

"Firstly, it's a dream come true. We're ecstatic about what we're going to be able to do over the next few weeks."

The West Indies knew their total was below par but their bowlers were powerless to defend it as Stirling and captain Andy Balbirnie stormed to a 73-run opening partnership before Balbirnie was caught cutting for 37.

Ireland number three, Lorcan Tucker, joined in the party, thrashing an unbeaten 45 in an unbroken stand with Stirling.

Tucker brought up the winning runs in style, dancing down the wicket to smash Obed McCoy for four, triggering wild cheers from a smattering of Irish fans.

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