Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Ireland claim World T20 finals spot

Paul Stirling struck a fine 77 from 46 balls

Paul Stirling was the star turn as Ireland secured qualification for the ICC World Twenty20 finals in Bangladesh next year with a comfortable victory over Hong Kong in Abu Dhabi.

The Middlesex all-rounder top-scored with 77 from 46 balls, featuring nine fours and three sixes, as Ireland set a huge target of 207 for four. He followed that up by taking four for 10 as the Asian side were restricted to 122 all out.

He and George Dockrell (two for 18) combined to spark a Hong Kong collapse, which saw them lose their last eight wickets for just 30 runs.

At 92 for two, Hong Kong were actually a run ahead of Ireland at the comparative halfway stage.

The turning point was an athletic one-handed catch at midwicket by William Porterfield to dismiss Hong Kong dangerman Jamie Atkinson, who had struck 48 from 38 balls to offer his side some hope.

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