Ireland cruise to Twenty20 win over Eastern Province XI

Paul Stirling
Paul Stirling hit seven sixes in a magnificent unbeaten century

A superb 132-run partnership between Paul Stirling and Gary Wilson helped Ireland to a convincing 65-run win over an Eastern Province Invitational XI.

Stirling hit a typically belligerent unbeaten 110 from just 67 balls in the Twenty20 game in Port Elizabeth.

Wilson hammered 64 from 33 balls as the pair savaged the South African attack.

Ireland posted a formidable 197-3 and spinner George Dockrell took three wickets as the hosts finished well short on 134-7.

Stirling and Wilson came together at 34-2 in the fifth over, after the early departures of William Porterfield (five) and Kevin O'Brien (seven), and they scored boundaries at will.

Stirling plundered seven sixes and Wilson five in their partnership which occupied just 72 balls.

Dockrell struck in the first over of the Eastern Province reply, but Edward Moore hit three sixes in a rapid 29 from just 18 deliveries as the youthful side reached 52-1 in the fifth over.

However, once Dockrell dismissed Moore the invitational team was never in the hunt, despite an assured 43 from Josh Dolley.

Their innings petered out with Dockrell the top bowler (3-26) while John Mooney, Max Sorensen, Kevin O'Brien, and Andrew White each chipped in with a wicket.

Ireland complete their preparation in South Africa on Tuesday with a game against another Eastern Province XI, before departing for the UAE to participate in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifers which start on 13 March.

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