Quadrangular Series: Stirling leads Ireland to 15-run win over Oman
|T20 Quadrangular Series, Al Amerat, Oman|
|Ireland 159-5: Stirling 71, Balbirnie 34; Butt 2-19|
|Oman 144-9: Nadeem 25, Butt 25; Singh 3-15|
|Ireland win by 15 runs|
Paul Stirling led Ireland to a 15-run victory over Oman in the opening match of their Twenty20 Quadrangular Series.
Skipper Stirling struck 11 fours and scored 71 runs from 51 balls to steer his team to 159-5 at Al Amarat.
The home side made a strong start to their run-chase but collapsed from 70-3 to 92-7 as Ireland all-rounder Simi Singh took three wickets in an over.
Ireland return to action on Friday against Scotland, who lost to the Netherlands in their opening match.
In his first competitive game as Ireland's new T20 captain, Stirling combined with Andrew Balbirnie for a 78-run second-wicket partnership as the tourists' top-order piled on early runs.
Balbirnie's departure in the 15th over was followed just five balls later by Stirling to leave their side on 125-3, but the fifth-wicket pairing of Lorcan Tucker (22) and Shane Getkate (10) ensured that Ireland cruised beyond the 150 mark.
Opener Khawar Ali scored just five runs for the tournament hosts before his dismissal off the bowling of Joshua Little but Oman recovered through Jatinder Singh and Aamir Kaleem to reach 70-3 before Khurram Nawaz was bowled by George Dockrell, triggering a collapse as a further four wickets fell for just 22 runs.
Simi Singh was the pick of the Irish bowlers, taking all three of his wickets in a devastating 10th over to end any hopes of a home victory.
"I think we just about got a competitive total on the board. There was a lot less grass on the wicket than over the last few days - so it wasn't too bad a toss to lose," said Stirling.
"I think we got a score that was a minimum score we needed to get - and we knew if we got a couple of quick wickets we'd put them under pressure, and that's exactly what happened.
"In terms of the tournament, the challenges keep getting harder and harder.
"We know what Scotland have got, and on their day - just like when they beat England the other day - they can be a real powerhouse. They've got a few key players that we'll need to try and keep quiet. But I think we can get a win if we play our best."
Oman Quadrangular - T20 Tournament Squad
Paul Stirling (captain), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O'Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Harry Tector, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker.
|Quadrangular tournament in Oman|
|9 February: Ireland v Oman Development XI||T20 warm-up|
|10 February: Ireland v Oman Development XI||T20 warm-up|
|13 February: Ireland v Oman||T20 International|
|15 February: Ireland v Scotland||T20 International|
|17 February: Ireland v Netherlands||T20 International|