Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Stirling racks up another 150 as Ireland end Pretoria stay on high


By Staff Reporter

Paul Stirling scored back-to-back 150s as he maintained his superb form in the build-up to next month's World Cup qualifiers to ensure Ireland ended their stay in Pretoria with a third victory.

However, after a long rain delay had ended the Ireland innings after 45 overs and set Hong Kong 175 to win in 20 overs, the Islanders needed 16 to win off the last over but Peter Chase held his nerve to restrict them to 12.

But it was Stirling, back in the middle after missing the last two games and at his majestic best, who dominated the day, matching his score of 156 against the South African Franchise XI. He faced 128 balls and hit 10 sixes and eight fours as he shared stands of 115 for the second wicket with Andy Balbirnie and 113 with Ed Joyce.

Ireland were again without William Porterfield, Boyd Rankin and Tim Murtagh so Stirling also opened the bowling and Barry McCarthy played his first match of the tour. But George Dockrell bowled only one over, for four runs, so Ireland had something to spare.

Scores: Ireland 284-3 (45 overs, P Stirling 156, E Joyce 58 not out, A Balbirnie 37) Hong Kong 171-8 (20 overs, B Hyatt 60; P Stirling 2-34, B McCarthy 2-46). Ireland XIII won by 3 runs (DLS).

Belfast Telegraph

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