Irish cricket doesn’t make the headlines that often but a rare victory over England was always going to be big news.
On Tuesday evening, Ireland claimed a momentous win over England in the sides’ third ODI at the Ageas Bowl.
With centuries from Paul Stirling and Andy Balbirnie, Ireland had one ball to spare and seven wickets remaining when they completed a successful chase of England’s target of 329.
— Cricket Ireland (@Irelandcricket) August 4, 2020
Having been defeated by England on back-to-back occasions over the past week, Ireland went out with their heads held high on Tuesday and secured the nation’s second victory over England and the first on English soil.
Commentator Michael McNamee from BBC Radio Ulster was left almost speechless when Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien hit the winning run; adding to his legacy as he did in Bangalore nine years ago, when he scored the fastest century in World Cup history.
We can't help but think that Michael McNamee might have enjoyed this moment!
— Test Match Special (@bbctms) August 4, 2020
O’Brien’s brother Niall, who also used to represent Ireland, told Sky Sports: “That was unbelievable, I’m so proud of those boys – not just the XI but the whole squad because they’ve had two tough defeats, beaten badly, let’s be brutally honest about it.
“But the way they’ve conducted themselves around the hotel, around the ground, they’ve trained their socks off, they’ve been a credit to Irish cricket and they deserve this.
“They played wonderfully well. They could have been chasing over 400, they clawed their way back into the game with some good bowling – a little bit of lacklustre batting from England, yes – they took some good catches, Lorcan Tucker got a good run out from behind the stumps.
“Chasing 329? They would have taken that before a ball was bowled. We’ve all spoken about the main guys needing to fire; Stirling, Balbirnie need to fire and they did. And the youngsters did a good job.”