Ireland top of their group after recovery against United States

John Mooney supplied the late fireworks for Ireland in their win over the USA in Belfast  
PA reporter

IRELAND overcame a sticky start to beat the United States by 46 runs in Group A of the Twenty20 World Cup qualifiers in Belfast.

The hosts' hopes of a second straight win appeared to be in jeopardy when openers Niall O'Brien and Paul Stirling fell for seven and eight respectively, leaving them languishing on 22 for two. But a steady 44 by Andy Balbirnie came to Ireland's rescue and some late fireworks from John Mooney - who hit 20 runs off just seven balls - helped the hosts set a reasonable target of 146.

The visitors' response was hit by the loss of Akeem Dodson to a duck off the second ball of the innings, while fellow opener Fahad Babar went for 10 as the United States also dropped to 22 for two.

Nicholas Standford top-scored for the visitors with 19 but after he fell lbw to George Dockrell the US resistance crumbled and they were all out for 100 runs in the 17th over.

Victory leaves the Irish on top of their group with two wins from two games ahead of their third match against Nepal on Monday. 


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