Balbirnie ton, O’Brien rampant fifty flay West Indies
Andrew Balbirnie registered his fourth ODI century. (Getty Image)

Andrew Balbirnie struck his fourth ODI century to propel Ireland to a commendable 327 for 5 against the West Indies in the fourth game of the tri-series in Dublin. Balbirnie shared a 146-run partnership with Paul Stirling to set the platform and later added another 84 with Kevin O’Brien which launched Ireland in the death.

O’Brien and Stirling offered Balbirnie wonderful support. After the early dismissal of James McCollom, dismissed by Sheldon Cottrell, Balbirnie and Stirling dictated terms and flayed the West Indies attack in the next 27.1 overs. Balbirnie took his time and played himself in, while Stirling was the brisk scorer in the partnership. Spinners Ashley Nurse and Roston Chase were dealt with disdain by Stirling.

Gabriel brought West Indies back with back-to-back strikes. Stirling, who had batted wonderfully against the short ball top-edged a hook shot to fine-leg, after which Ireland skipper William Porterfield fell in the next over. With one leg inside the door, West Indies had the chance inflict further damage but O’Brien’s counter-attacking half-century laid waste to those plans.

In the next 63 balls, O’Brien batted in the fifth gear from the word go, and when it was time for the final few overs, he took it to another level. Jason Holder, who bowled the 48th over was clubbed for three consecutive sixes before holing out off a bouncer.

Not that O’Brien’s efforts took the shine off Balbirnie’s knock, who brought up his hundred at almost a run-a-ball in the 38th over. Three of his four sixes came after he had surpassed the three-figure score.

Brief scores: Ireland 327/5 in 50 overs (Andrew Balbirnie 135, Paul Stirling 77; Shannon Gabriel 2-47) vs West Indies.