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Dublin: 8 °C Thursday 12 December, 2019
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Two wins away: Ireland lay down a marker against Canada

Paul Stirling hit a record-breaking half-century as Ireland made light work of Canada in Dubai this morning.

Ireland's Paul Sterling celebrates hitting 50  this morning.
Ireland's Paul Sterling celebrates hitting 50 this morning.
Image: INPHO/ICC

Ireland 109/0 (9.3 overs) beat Canada 106/8 by 10 wickets

PAUL STIRLING SET a new record for Ireland’s fastest half-century as the boys in green blitzed Canada to move one step closer to a place at the Twenty20 World Cup.

Faced with a limp Canadian attack, Stirling hit the milestone in just 21 balls, two fewer than captain William Porterfield needed when he set the record during Ireland’s tour of Kenya last month.

In the T20 format, only five players have officially scored faster 50s than Stirling, who finished his innings with nine fours and three sixes for a total of 61 not out.

Porterfield added another 42 not out as Ireland steamed past their target of 107 before the half-way point of their innings, without losing a wicket.

Canada won the toss and chose to bat, but were held to 106/8 by Ireland’s bowlers. George Dockrell and Max Sorensen took three wickets apiece after man of the match Trent Johnston set the ball rolling with the first of his two wickets when he dismissed Hiral Patel for a duck in the first over.

Ireland are now two wins away from a place at T20 World Cup which begins in Sri Lanka in September. Next up in tomorrow’s “elimination semi-final” are the Netherlands who scraped by Scotland with just five balls to spare in Dubai this morning.

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Niall Kelly

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