SOUTHAMPTON, England, Aug 4 – Ireland always believed they could chase down a score of over 300 against England in the third and final One-Day International at the Rose Bowl on Tuesday said century-maker Paul Stirling who was relieved with their first points in the ICC´s Super League.
With the series already wrapped up, England set the visitors a victory target of 329, a total they reached with seven wickets and a ball to spare, guided by a superb 142 from Stirling.
“It was brilliant to get our first win in the competition, especially after a few tough performances in the last two games. We showed a lot of character to come back and are just delighted to get the win,” he said at the post-match presentation.
“We´ve chased over 300 a number of times, particularly in World Cups, so we knew we could do it. It (the big target) maybe just freed us up a little bit to go a bit harder up top and have a bit of fun.
“In the middle overs we were able to keep it ticking along, so it was just a pretty solid chase in the end.”
Stirling put on an Irish record second wicket partnership of 214 with captain Andy Balbirnie, who contributed a fine 113.
It was Stirling´s ninth ODI hundred, but one of his best, though he was more relieved to have broken his side´s duck in the Super League.
“This one is up top there, definitely. To do it against England in England is a nice one to have under your belt, but it was a team performance.
“It is the win that counts and 10 points there on the board. They are the most important things.”
The Super League serves as the qualifier for the 2023 World Cup in India. (Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Ken Ferris)