Stirling guides Irish cricketers to victory

Ireland began the defence of their ICC World Cricket League Division One title with a seven-wicket win over Kenya in Rotterdam today.

Teenage opener Paul Stirling maintained his impressive form this season with 87 at the top of the order to lead a comfortable chase of Kenya’s 163 all out.

The Irish still had 10.1 overs to spare when they wrapped up a success that was built around Stirling’s anchoring innings after the bowlers had shared the wickets.

The 19-year-old impressed when he hit a run-a-ball 36 against Australia in the one-off one-day international in Dublin a fortnight ago and again showed his promise with eight fours and a six to fall just shy of his century.

Alex Cusack also added an unbeaten 59 to guide the Irish home and ensure a solid start to the 10-day tournament.

Earlier Cusack, John Mooney and Trent Johnston, skippering the side in the absence of William Porterfield, claimed two wickets apiece to run through the Kenyan order in 45.3 overs.

Alex Obanda top scored for the Africans with 40 before young spinner George Dockrell had him caught by Kevin O’Brien.

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