Paul Stirling paid a special tribute to 'Uncle Roy' with a top quality century in Abu Dhabi yesterday but Ireland again came up second best, losing to Afghanistan by seven wickets to fall 2-0 behind in the three-match World Cup Super League series.
Ireland's cricketers take to the field in Abu Dhabi this morning with heavy hearts. Losing a tight first game to Afghanistan was a setback, but the news from home yesterday was devastating. Roy Torrens, their former manager, and friend to all, lost his last battle to Covid-19, aged 72.
Paul Horton was expecting 2020 to be his final summer of county cricket but thought he would spend it churning out runs for Leicestershire and just maybe, if all went well, perhaps he could squeeze another year out of his long career.
Ireland's first Test match against Pakistan two years ago was seen as the end of an era, the culmination of decades of dreams and hard work. But many of those who got to enjoy it were near the end of their own road, seven of them aged over 30.
From the delirium of a first victory away to England, most of Ireland's cricketers now face the tedium of two weeks in self-isolation. All of Ireland's players based in the Republic of Ireland had to begin a mandatory two-week quarantine period when they returned home yesterday, even though the players from Northern Ireland do not need to quarantine.
Paul Stirling played his finest innings for Ireland at the Ageas Bowl last night, striking a magnificent 142 from 128 balls to power the Boys in Green towards a stunning seven-wicket victory over England and their first points in the World Cup Super League.
Ireland's Paul Stirling and captain Andy Balbirnie struck superb centuries as the tourists chased down a daunting target of 329 to stun world champions England with a seven-wicket win in the third and final One-Day International at the Rose Bowl on Tuesday.
Curtis Campher made an impressive start to his international career with a battling half-century at the Ageas Bowl yesterday and followed up with a wicket, but it wasn't a winning ODI debut as England swept Ireland aside by six wickets in Southampton.
David Willey celebrated his England return with a maiden one-day international five-wicket haul as the world champions drew first blood in the Royal London series against Ireland at the Ageas Bowl.
Andy Balbirnie says he is excited to be going toe-to-toe with world champions England at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton today, in the first of a three-match series, but the Ireland skipper should be wary of his familiar-sounding opposite number delivering the knock-out blow.
For an extraordinary 11-year period William Porterfield captained Ireland, leading the side on a voyage that would have seemed inconceivable during the days of amateurism. When Porterfield stepped down a few months after that historic Lord's Test against England in July last year, the role of leading Ireland fell to Andy Balbirnie.
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