Ben Whitley/INPHO Andrew Balbirnie.
# Boys in Green
Ireland captain Balbirnie celebrates ‘pretty special’ achievement at T20 World Cup
The victory over Scotland means Ireland meet the West Indies with the winner going through to the next round.

IRELAND CAPTAIN ANDREW Balbirnie celebrated a “pretty special” achievement from Curtis Campher and George Dockrell as they blasted their side to a thrilling victory over Scotland at the T20 World Cup.

A place in the Super 12 stage looked to be disappearing from Ireland’s grasp when Campher and Dockrell flipped the match on its head with a match-winning stand of 116 in just 57 deliveries.

Chasing down a stiff target of 177 looked to be off the table at the mid-point of the innings, with the top four back in the pavilion and just 65 on the board, but Campher seized the moment with seven fours and two sixes in a stunning knock of 72 not out.

The victory means Ireland meet the West Indies on Friday with the winner qualifying for the next round, as the two-time champions thrashed Zimbabwe by 31 runs today.

“It was pretty special, I can’t remember as important a partnership as that,” said Balbirnie, whose side badly needed the points after kicking off their campaign with defeat by Zimbabwe.

All year we’ve played pretty good cricket and games we’ve been out of, we’ve been throwing punches. To get over the line with a punch thrown is great. It was a special knock from Curtis and from George as well.

“I’m delighted and hope we can take that momentum into Friday (against the West Indies). We started the tournament pretty disappointingly, it got away from us in the first innings here and at the start of the second, so to drag it back was very important for us.”

All-rounder Campher, who famously took four wickets in four balls at the 2021 World Cup, was visibly emotional at the close and battled tears as he revealed he had received “bad news” from home.

He did not wish to elaborate on that but told fans watching back in Ireland: “Thanks for the support, hopefully we’ll put a smile on your face a bit longer.”

Scotland captain Richie Berrington, whose side began their time in Australia by upsetting the Windies, was staying positive after the setback.

“We know from last year these group situations are never straight forward, but we’ll learn from today, reflect on what we need to and come back strong in our final game,” he said.

“We certainly put Ireland under pressure early on but give credit to the boys who put the partnership on. It was an excellent knock from Curtis, credit to them.”

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