Irish cricketers cruise to victory over Nepal
Ireland maintained their 100 per cent start to their World T20 qualifying campaign by cruising to an eight-wicket victory over Nepal in Belfast.
The Group A leaders made it three wins from three as they dismissed Nepal for just 53 inside 14.3 overs, with Stuart Thompson and Kevin O'Brien producing career-best figures in claiming three wickets apiece.
The hosts then took just eight overs to reach their victory target as Paul Stirling weighed in with 29 while William Porterfield was 18 not out.
Ireland won the toss and inserted Nepal and although the visitors made 18 from the first two overs, they began to lose regular wickets once Anil Mandal was the first man out having picked out Kevin O'Brien off Alex Cusack's bowling.
Only Sagar Pun and captain Paras Khadka, with 20 and 10 respectively, reached double figures for Nepal, who lost their final five wickets for only three runs as Kevin O'Brien and Thompson swept through the tail.
The former, who was on a hat-trick at one point, returned three for eight from his four overs while Thompson's trio of victims cost just 10 runs.
After a rain-delayed resumption for their own innings, Ireland lost Niall O'Brien chopping on for three in the second over before Stirling and Porterfield briskly moved towards their target of 54.
Like Niall O'Brien, Stirling was bowled by Sompal Kami with the scores level, but new batsman Kevin O'Brien struck the winning run to seal a comprehensive victory.