Sport

Monday 11 December 2017

Ireland begin World Twenty20 qualifying campaign with Stirling victory over Namibia

Paul Stirling in action for Ireland
Paul Stirling in action for Ireland

An impressive half-century from Paul Stirling helped Ireland make a winning start to their World Twenty20 qualifying campaign as they overcame Namibia by 34 runs in Abu Dhabi.

Stirling thumped four fours and two sixes in his 52 off 36 balls, while fellow opener and captain Will Porterfield contributed 33 as Ireland posted a total of 166 for five after being put into bat.

That proved too high for Namibia and despite Raymond van Schoor's unbeaten 48, they could only muster 134 for seven at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

Alex Cusack was the pick of Ireland's bowlers with two for 22, while there were also wickets for Tim Murtagh, Kevin O'Brien and Max Sorensen.

Ireland, who won this qualifying tournament in 2012, are among the favourites to book their place in next year's World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, with six countries still to qualify for the expanded 16-team tournament.

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