Ireland captain and man of the match Andrew Balbirnie praised his team He won the T20 World Cup for England In Melbourne as “amazing and moving”.
His 62 runs helped Ireland to 157 and brilliant bowling saw England win by five wickets in the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method with England 105-5 when rain stopped play.
The win at the Melbourne Cricket Ground adds to the Irish’s illustrious world-class victories over the past 15 years.
“To do it on one of the most amazing grounds is special,” said Balbirnie.
“We’ve never played a cricket match here. To come here and play the favorites for the tournament, with so many big names, and put on a show in front of friends and family and so many people from all over the world is really exciting.”
Ireland’s men’s run of big wins began at the 2007 World Cup when they stunned Pakistan at Sabina Park in Jamaica.
Four years later, Fastest World Cup in Kevin O’Brien’s century The Irish completed a stunning run chase to beat England in Bengaluru, India.
Big wins since then include the 2015 World Cup victory over the West Indies in New Zealand and the one-day victory over England in Southampton two years ago, but while Wednesday’s victory will be classed as a surprise, even England captain Jos Buttler had to admit that. it was worth it
“We were outplayed in all three aspects of the game and the better team won,” admitted Buttler.
Balbirnie and his teammates hugged family and friends and seemingly every Irish supporter afterwards as the rain continued to pour down on Melbourne.
Cricket will always struggle to find a prominent place in the Irish sporting landscape, but Balbirnie and his teammates have once again done their part.
“Some of them [the supporters] they’ve extended their trip, so they’ve spent a bit of money in the last week. They are so passionate about the game in Ireland,” he said.
“We keep trying to make this game a bigger sport in our country. Days like today will help and hopefully there will be more in the future.”
With Afghanistan at the MCG next Friday, the Irish have little time to celebrate, although some time may be found to improve their catching practice after England were not penalized for three drops.
Two of them came in for a particularly chaotic George Dockrell when Harry Brook and Dawid Malan fell to successive balls, before Gareth Delany caught Brook in the deep to see the Irish seize the initiative again.
“We were lucky it didn’t cost us,” Balbirnie admitted.
“It usually happens when you’re playing a team like England. It was fantastic to get George Dockrell over him, but we managed to get the wicket we needed.”