|Third one-day international, Ageas Bowl, Southampton|
|England 328 (49.5 overs): Morgan 106, Banton 58, Willey 51|
|Ireland 329-3 (49.5 overs): Stirling 143, Balbirnie 113|
|Ireland won by seven wickets; England won series 2-1|
Ireland stunned England in a thrilling third one-day international, completing a chase of 329 with one ball to spare at the Ageas Bowl.
Paul Stirling smashed 142 off 128 balls and captain Andrew Balbirnie 113 off 112, sharing a superb stand of 214 for the second wicket.
Stirling was run out with 65 needed and Balbirnie holed out 15 runs later, but Ireland held their nerve to seal a seven-wicket victory in the final match of a series England won 2-1.
Kevin O’Brien and Harry Tector, who put on an unbroken 50, scored the eight needed off the final over as Ireland claimed only their second win over England in ODIs.
James Vince dropped Stirling on 95 and 139, Tom Banton put down Tector on 19 and a ragged England bowled several costly wides and no-balls late on.
Eoin Morgan’s 84-ball 106 looked to have put them on course for victory.
Morgan and Banton, who made 58, added 146 but both fell in quick succession in a collapse of 4-26 as England failed to take full advantage of being 190-3 in the 27th over.
Still, the world champions, albeit without many key players who are part of the Test squad, should have defended their total.
It was Ireland’s highest successful chase in ODIs, beating their famous pursuit against England at the 2011 World Cup, and gave them 10 points in the qualification league for the 2023 World Cup.
Bangalore repeated in Southampton
The Ireland top order were abject in the first two matches of this series before firing in stunning fashion.
Faced with little choice but to attack, opener Stirling cut loose and launched six sixes into the empty stands, targeting a short leg-side boundary.
He took a fancy to Saqib Mahmood early on and then attacked leg-spinner Adil Rashid, England’s key bowler in recent years, by slog-sweeping him over the rope on three occasions.
Balbirnie, who, like Stirling, had struggled this series, played a more steady hand, accumulating rather than opting for power strokes.
The mix-up that saw Tom Curran run out Stirling and a poor shot from Balbirnie – he hit Rashid to long-on with the required rate comfortable – could have cost Ireland, but 20-year-old Tector and O’Brien held on.
The chase was the highest successful chase by a visiting team in England in ODIs, coming from a team 11th in the International Cricket Council rankings.
It was O’Brien, the man who made an unbeaten 113 off 63 balls in Bangalore, who hit the winning run which resulted in Irish cheers ringing around the empty stadium.
England fluff their lines
It was a jubilant night for Ireland but a disappointing one for England as they lost their grip on the game with bat and ball.
They were without captain Morgan in the field. He sat out the Ireland innings because of a groin injury, with Moeen Ali leading the side.
The drops of Stirling were difficult, while Tector was reprieved when Banton misjudged a chance at long-on.
The game was in the balance after the wickets of Stirling and Balbirnie and with 42 needed from 27 balls.
David Willey then bowled a waist-high full toss that was thumped for six by O’Brien and followed that with a wide.
Ireland were strong favourites going into the final over with eight required, but another no-ball on height from Mahmood did not help England.
Morgan said afterwards that a score of 360 or 370 could have been possible, but the loss of him and Banton in quick succession prevented that.
Jason Roy was out in the first over for the second game in a row, Vince followed knocks of 25 and 16 with another 16 to do little to quieten calls for him to be dropped, and Moeen Ali failed again, chipping a simple catch to short extra cover for one.
Without a 42-ball 51 from player of the series Willey, who continued his impressive all-round form, and Tom Curran’s unbeaten 38, England may not have reached 250.
‘A special day for Ireland’ – what they said
England captain Eoin Morgan: “Full credit to Ireland – they outplayed us today. We had an average day and stuttered throughout.
“It was in and around a par score but the wicket got better and Ireland played better than they had in the last two games.”
Ireland batsman Paul Stirling on BBC Test Match Special: “It’s a special day for Ireland – to get a win against England on their home turf – but to get 10 points on the board is the most important thing. We’re delighted with that.”
Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie: “I feel ecstatic. We didn’t play our best cricket in the first two games but to put in that performance, particularly with the bat, gives us confidence that we can compete with the best whenever those fixtures come about. It’s very satisfying to get the win.”
Former England batsman Michael Carberry: “Ireland looked dead and buried after the two defeats but the fight they’ve shown…
“They dug in with the ball at the back end – there were times when it looked like England were going to post something huge but Ireland just kept chipping away. They were special with the bat.”