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Preview: Pumped by their thrilling four-run victory over the hosts in the series opener, Ireland will be hoping to clinch the series against the West Indies in the second T20I at the Warner Park in Basseterre on Saturday.
The Irishmen suffered a 0-3 sweep at the hands of Kieron Pollard's men in the one-day series that preceded the T20Is despite putting up a fight, especially in the second ODI in which the Windies won by a solitary wicket with the match going down the wire with just one ball to spare.
However, the visitors put the disappointment of that series scoreline behind in the T20 leg of the tour in what was another close contest — this time the 'Men in Green' pipping the Twenty20 heavyweights in a high-scoring game thanks primarily to the efforts of opener Paul Stirling (95) and pacer Joshua Little (3/29).
The hosts looked set to pull off yet another victory after seamer Barry McCarthy was smashed for 27 runs in the crucial 18th over, with Nicholas Pooran and Sherfane Rutherford at the crease. However, Craig Young and Little held their nerves to bowl out two heroic overs — the latter collecting two of his three wickets in the final over as West Indies fell agonisingly short by just four runs.
The match also served as a platform for veteran all-rounder Dwayne Bravo to make his West Indies comeback, collecting 2/28 from his four-over quota to cap a good day in office with the ball although he couldn't quite step up with the bat later in the game during the chase, falling for 9 off the penultimate delivery of the match.
Bravo will hope to play a more prominent role come Saturday as his team hopes to keep the series alive till the final game, which takes place the very next day after the second T20I.
Ireland: Paul Stirling, Kevin O Brien, Andrew Balbirnie(c), Gareth Delany, Harry Tector, Gary Wilson(w), George Dockrell, Simi Singh, Barry McCarthy, Joshua Little, Craig Young, Mark Adair, Lorcan Tucker, Boyd Rankin.
West Indies: Lendl Simmons, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Kieron Pollard(c), Nicholas Pooran(w), Sherfane Rutherford, Dwayne Bravo, Hayden Walsh, Khary Pierre, Sheldon Cottrell, Kesrick Williams, Rovman Powell, Brandon King.
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