Abu Dhabi: Ireland batter Paul Stirling on Saturday said that he was “taken by surprise” to find out he is the highest run scorer in Abu Dhabi T10 history and doesn’t expect to hold onto the accolade for too long, such is the nature or cricket’s fastest format.

Stirling passed the landmark with a scintillating 57 during Team Abu Dhabi’s first eliminator win over Bangla Tigers at Zayed Cricket Stadium on Friday. Although he added 10 more to his tally in the second eliminator, it wasn’t enough to secure a spot in the final for the first time in the capital franchise’s history.

Stirling, who now stands alone at the top of the Abu Dhabi T10’s run scoring charts with 739 runs from 34 innings, was ultimately left disappointed not to have helped Team Abu Dhabi reach Saturday’s showpiece but was happy to move clear as the format’s record batter after another “amazing” experience in his fifth year in T10 cricket.

“It’s taken me by surprise, I must admit,” said Stirling when told of his achievement. “I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve been involved in all five T10 tournaments so far and it sounds like I’ve managed to score a few over that time. It’s a nice accolade to have but I’m sure there’s plenty of others not too far behind as there’s a lot of people whacking it at the moment.

“It’s been an amazing experience (at the Abu Dhabi T10), it was last year and it has been this year too. From a cricketing perspective, it’s disappointing that we’re in the same boat as last year but hopefully we can keep building and get better and better, year on year.”

A champion with Kerala Kings in the tournament’s first edition, Stirling also represented Kerala Knights and Delhi Bulls before being signed up by Team Abu Dhabi February’s 2021 edition.

It has been a perfect match ever since and Stirling was quick to praise both Team Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Cricket for, respectively, making him feel so at home within the franchise and for the continuous improvement of the venue’s facilities.

“Everything has been fantastic, we’ve been so well looked after,” he added.

“I love coming to Abu Dhabi and the place seems to get better and better around here, especially at the stadium. It’s been great to be involved in.”