The Irish Men’s Senior Cricket team have won their first-ever one-day international series away from home over a major cricket nation after recording a two-wicket victory over the West Indies at Sabina Park in Kingston on Sunday night.
After Covid related postponements and a loss to the USA over Christmas, as well as defeat in the first of the three-match series in the Caribbean, this looked as unlikely an outcome as you could imagine for the team but it is often in the darkest moments that the brightest light shines through.
The win is also important in terms of World Super League ranking points that will help Ireland to qualify for major tournaments over the course of the next number of years.
Captain Andrew Balbirnie was missing as a result of having to isolate back in the hotel but performances from Andrew McBrine and Craig Young, in particular, brought the chance of a win into view and Young, together with Mark Adair, secured the runs that were needed with twelve balls to spare.
The West Indies captain spoke afterwards about the poor form that his team were in but that should not take away from the achievement of the Ireland team in marking down such a significant first.
The win has propelled Ireland to third place in the standings of the World Cup Super League, behind England and Bangladesh but ahead of cricketing giants like Australia, India, Pakistan and the West Indies.
Yes, we have played more matches than any of the other teams around us but still to be there at that end of the table is something that could hardly have been imagined.
“It means a lot to the team,” said Player of the Series McBrine after the game.”
“The last 3 to 4 weeks haven’t been easy on us, but there’s a fighting spirit left in us and we showed that today.”
“We’re delighted, it’s not every day we go on away trips and turn over a side like the West Indies,” added stand-in Captain Paul Stirling.
“Really proud of the lads that we can go 1-nil down in the series and come back to win the next two games and take the series. We may have been fortunate to win the toss three times, but we still had to go out and perform, so we’re delighted. We’re a pretty tight unit, we always have been, it’s one of our strengths.”