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Dublin: 9 °C Saturday 23 March, 2019
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Stirling century keeps Ireland's T20 prep on track

With eight days to go until they begin their World T20 qualifiers, Ireland beat an Eastern Province XI by 63 runs in South Africa this morning.

Paul Stirling (file photo).
Paul Stirling (file photo).
Image: ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sulliva

PAUL STIRLING SCORED a century off 62 balls as Ireland continued their preparation for the World T20 qualifiers with a win against an Eastern Province XI.

Stirling’s haul of 110 not out and a 64 from Gary Wilson helped Ireland to a 63-run win over their hosts, who never really challenged in Port Elizabeth this morning.

George Dockrell continued the fine form which he showed in Kenya last week, and he took a hat-trick of wickets to limit the EPR to 134/7.

Ireland started sluggishly after winning the toss and lost captain William Porterfield and Kevin O’Brien for just 32 runs inside six overs.

But Stirling and Wilson clicked into gear together and posted a 132-run partnership before Wilson was bowled by Venskie late on.

Ireland struck early with the ball, and Dockrell took opener Umar Abrahams with the fourth ball of the EPR innings. He later accounted for the hosts’ top scorer, Josh Dolley, who was caught by Wilson on 43 runs for 37 balls.

Ireland are scheduled to play one more T20 warm-up match as they near the end of their 10-day training camp in South Africa. The side meet Namibia in their first World Cup qualifier in Dubai next Tuesday.

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Niall Kelly

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