Cricket: Stirling lifts Ireland to series victory over Kenya
Published 24/02/2012 | 05:00
PAUL STIRLING smashed an unbeaten 65 to lead Ireland to a Twenty20 victory over Kenya in Mombasa yesterday and an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Stirling struck nine fours in his 52-ball innings that took Ireland past the home side's 131-7 with eight wickets and 15 balls to spare.
The winning total of 132-2 was Ireland's highest in Twenty20 internationals.
Teenage Leinster spinner George Dockrell again opened the bowling but could only manage one of the seven scalps he required to become the youngest Irish player to claim 100 wickets, while Stirling took 2-21.
Opener William Porterfield recovered some of his fluency in making 23, his highest score of the tour, and with a couple of senior players rested, Gary Wilson partnered Stirling across the winning line with a breezy 22 not out.
Such was the ease of the Ireland win, all-rounder Andrew White was not called upon to bat or bowl in his 200th international. He is the second Irish player to reach the mark after Kyle McCallan, who retired with 226 caps.
Meanwhile, England succumbed to Umar Gul in an eight-run defeat in the first of three Twenty20 clashes with Pakistan last night, as Graeme Swann's career-best bowling proved in vain in Dubai.
Gul took three crucial wickets to peg back England in their chase of 144.
Swann's 3-13 bettered by one run his previous best -- which came in defeat against Pakistan here two years ago.
Eoin Morgan made just 14 as England's reply stumbled after Kevin Pietersen's blazing start.