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Dublin: 17 °C Tuesday 23 July, 2019
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Ireland win World Twenty20 qualifier final in impressive style

Paul Stirling top scored with 76 as his side set the fourth highest score in Twenty20 international cricket.

Ireland celebrate their second successive win at the World Twenty20 Qualifier tournament.
Ireland celebrate their second successive win at the World Twenty20 Qualifier tournament.
Image: IDI/Getty Images

IRELAND ARE THE ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier champions after a 68-run win over Afghanistan this afternoon.

Paul Stirling (76) and William Porterfield (27) got Ireland off to a great start, scoring 82 runs for the loss of just one wicket in the first six overs.

Kevin O’Brien showed he meant business hitting his first three balls for boundaries before falling for 20 which left Ireland on 112-2 at the halfway mark.

Trent Johnson didn’t hang around either making 62 off just 32 balls to post his highest ever Twenty20 score, helping Ireland finish on 225-7, the fourth best score in the history of this form of the game at international level.

Afghanistan started their innings determined to chase down the Irish total though and, after Mohammad Shahzad hit the first ball of the innings for 6, they had already scored 38 runs by the end of the third over.

After Alex Cusack claimed two wickets in two balls at the end of the sixth over, Man of the Match Johnson proved he could be just as valuable with the ball as he had been with the bat, taking three wickets, including two in two balls in the 12th over.

Despite Gulbodin Naib smashing 43 off just 19 balls, Afghan wickets continued to tumble and it was left to Tim Murtagh to take the final wicket as Ireland retained the World Twenty20 Qualifier trophy.

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Steve O'Rourke

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