Battered Ireland blown away by Windies
ANDY BALBIRNIE suffered a second misfortune in three days when he was struck on the helmet and forced to retire hurt at Clontarf yesterday, as Ireland slumped to a 196-run loss to the West Indies in the opening tri-series one-day international.
After falling to a controversial stumping against England on Friday, Balbirnie was beaten for pace by Shannon Gabriel and had to leave the field for concussion checks as Ireland replied to a mammoth West Indies total of 381-3.
The No 3 returned to bat later in the innings, but added just one run before he was caught for 29 and after a breezy knock of 68 from Kevin O'Brien, including a six and seven fours, Ireland lost their last seven wickets for 33 as they subsided to 185 all out.
The West Indies innings was dominated by a world record opening stand of 365 by Shai Hope and John Campbell, with both passing Ed Joyce's previous best ODI score of 160 not out on Irish soil. Campbell holds the new record with 179; Hope made 170.
Barry McCarthy, who returned in place of Boyd Rankin, claimed both in the space of four balls, but Ireland needed early wickets, not striking for the first time in the 48th over.
After the optimism of Friday's close encounter with World Cup favourites England, the Boys in Green were again shown up for their lack of firepower, or a mystery spinner, and the West Indies' total was way out of range once Paul Stirling had been bowled first ball.
"It's going to be a learning curve for the bowlers in these conditions," captain William Porterfield said. "You're playing against really good players. As long as you learn from that, that's all you can ask for."
Meanwhile, squad member James McCollum pressed his claims for a batting place in Thursday's second match by smashing 102 against Ireland's next opponent's Bangladesh as Ireland A beat the Tigers by 88 runs at The Hills.