Ed Joyce’s unbeaten 40 guides Ireland to victory over West Indies

Sabina Park proves happy hunting ground yet again

Ed Joyce made an unbeaten 40 as Ireland beat the West Indies by six wickets at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Ireland made Sabina Park a happy hunting ground yet again on Wednesday night as they stunned World Twenty20 champion West Indies in the first of two games, winning by six wickets at the famous old ground under the Blue Mountains.

Seven years on from the World Cup victory over Pakistan in Kingston, Phil Simmons’s side secured another famous victory, with the Trinidadian coach wearing the widest smile after a comprehensive win.

Seven years ago Ed Joyce was wearing English colours at the World Cup in the Caribbean, but last night he showed his class yet again back in the green shirt as his brilliantly paced innings of 40 not out from 49 balls helped his side chase down a winning target of 117 after Ireland restricted a home side featuring all their star turns to just 116 for eight from their 20 overs.

Ireland skipper William Porterfield made 10 bowling changes as he kept the West Indies on their toes, with his bowlers varying their paces superbly to frustrate the home batsmen, with Chris Gayle top-scoring with 18 from 19 balls.

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Seamers Tim Murtagh, Alex Cusack and Kevin O'Brien all took two wickets each, while left-arm spinner George Dockrell took the wicket of Marlon Samuels and gave away just 15 runs in his four overs.

Ireland's chase got off to a terrible start after openers William Porterfield and Paul Stirling went in the first two overs.

Joyce, though, was the man for a crisis and he was joined in stands of 29 by Gary Wilson (18) and a key one of 58 with Andrew Poynter (32) before bringing up victory alongside O'Brien, who finished unbeaten on 15.

The two sides meet again at Sabina Park on Friday in a second T20 international before facing each other in a One-Day International on Sunday.

TWENTY20 INTERNATIONAL
(at Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica): West Indies won the toss and batted.
WEST INDIES

Dwayne Smith
c Sorensen b Murtagh 14
C Gayle
c Dockrell b Cusack 18
M Samuels
st Wilson b Dockrell 16
L Simmons
c Thompson b Cusack 16
Dwayne Bravo
c K O'Brien b Sorensen 8
A Russell
b Murtagh 15
D Sammy
b K O'Brien 7
D Ramdin
c Wilson b K O'Brien 4
S Narine
not out 6
S Badree
not out 3
Extras
(lb2, w7) 9
Total
(for 8 wkts, 20 ovs) 116
Did not bat:
R Rampaul.
Fall of wickets:
1-31, 2-28, 3-58, 4-77, 5-79, 6-98, 7-106, 8-107.
Bowling:
P Stirling 2-0-14-0; M Sorensen 4-0-23-1; T Murtagh 4-0-28-2; A Cusack 4-0-17-2; K O'Brien 2-0-17-2; G Dockrell 4-0-15-1.
IRELAND

W Porterfield
lbw b Badree 4
P Stirling c Russell b Rampaul 0
E Joyce not out 40
G Wilson b Badree 18
A Poynter b Narine 32
K O'Brien not out 15
Extras (lb5, w3) 8
Total (for 4 wkts, 19.1 ovs) 117
Did not bat: M Sorensen, S Thompson, A Cusack, T Murtagh, G Dockrell.
Bowling: S Badree 4-0-18-2; R Rampaul 3-0-24-1; S Narine 4-0-16-1; D Sammy 3-0-16-0; M Samuels 1-0-7-0; Dwayne Bravo 3-0-21-0; A Russell 1.1-0-10-0.
Ireland won by 6 wkts.

Emmet Riordan

Emmet Riordan

Emmet Riordan is an Irish Times sports journalist