Stirling, Balbirnie hit tons, Ireland go past India’s NatWest feat to script record chase in England
Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie posted centuries to propel Ireland to only its second win over England in international cricket after overcoming the World Cup champions in the final over of Tuesday’s one-day match.
Set a target of 329 — the same score they finished on to beat England at the 2011 World Cup — the Irish laid the foundations with a 214-run stand between Stirling and captain Balbirnie in the last match of the series.
This was also the highest chase by a visiting team in an ODI in England going past India’s feat in the NatWest Trophy final in 2002.
Highest successful chase vs ENG in England
329 by Ireland, Rose Bowl 2020*
326 by India, Lord’s 2002
322 by Sri Lanka, Leed 2006
317 by India, The Oval 2007
Stirling was run out for 142 and Balbirnie holed out for 113 with 50 still required from 33 deliveries, but Kevin O’Brien - the hero nine years ago in Bangalore - fittingly secured a seven-wicket victory for Ireland on the penultimate ball.
After being asked to bat first, England had stuttered to 44-3 but Eoin Morgan’s 106 from 84 balls was the cornerstone of 328 all out in 49.5 overs, the captain sharing a 146-run stand with Tom Banton.
England won the series 2-1 but Balbirnie took pride in the fact his team can now boast victories over the world champions in two limited-overs formats, having toppled the West Indies in a Twenty20 international in January.
“We’ve beaten the T20 world champions in their own backyards and we’ve beaten the ODI champions,” Balbirnie said. “It’s a huge win for us and this group. For the young guys to be involved in this series but to also be involved in a win like that is special and one we’ll remember forever.
“Hopefully we’ve given the kids and the young generation a bit of a boost and something to strive towards.”