West Indies v Ireland: Tourists 'ecstatic' after T20 victory in Grenada

Kevin O'Brien and Paul Stirling put on 93 runs in the first six overs - an Irish record
Kevin O'Brien and Paul Stirling put on 93 runs in the first six overs - an Irish record

Irish captain Andrew Balbirnie says the thrilling Twenty20 international victory over the West Indies in Grenada is "great for the vibe of the team".

The tourists won the first of three T20s by four runs after a record 154-run opening stand between Paul Stirling and Kevin O'Brien.

It's a first win on the tour after losing all three ODIs to the Windies.

"Everyone is ecstatic - to get a win against one of the top teams in T20 cricket was great," added Balbirnie.

"It's great to get a win obviously but you want to win a series and make history, so if we can do that in the next two games we can go home very happy.

"It was just about as well as I've ever seen Paul bat in T20 cricket - he's a world-class player and he's played all around the world, he's such as important player for us in all forms of cricket and he leads from the front, which he did today."

Big hitting

Stirling smashed 95 runs from just 47 as he and O'Brien (48) combined for the best T20 partnership for Ireland for any wicket.

It helped the Irish to 208-6 before the world champions came up just short thanks to an impressive final over from Josh Little.

The win is only Ireland's second over the West Indies in the 20-over format, their previous success coming in Kingston in 2014.

"It was a really good pitch and I think we put a par score on which showed in the end, we felt we were in the game the whole way through," said Stirling.

Paul Stirling
Paul Stirling hit eight sixes in a superb knock at National Cricket Stadium in Grenada

"It was touch and go, but we're enjoying the tight games - we came out the right side this time, so it's a nice feeling."

"I think there's a huge different in mindset between T20 and ODI opening, here you have the chance to express yourself and really have fun, playing cricket as you did as a youngster and how you really want to play."

St Kitts is the venue for the the final two T20s between the sides on Saturday and Sunday.

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