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Ireland claim place in World T20 finals with win over Hong Kong


Ireland have secured their place in next year's Twenty20 World Cup thanks to a fantastic performance from Paul Stirling.

The Middlesex man was the top scorer after his swashbuckling 77 from 46, including nine fours and three sixes, helped see off Hong Kong in Abu Dhabi.

Thanks to Stirling's efforts, Ireland set an imposing target of 207 for the loss of just four wickets.

However Hong Kong began their chase well and were ahead of Ireland comparatively at the halfway stage, with the score at 92 for 2.

In the end though they suffered a terrible collapse after William Porterfield took an excellent one-handed catch at midwicket to dismiss Jamie Atkinson, who had hit a dangerous 48 from 38 balls.

Hong Kong lost their last eight wickets for 30 runs as they were bowled out for 122 with Somerset's George Dockrell picking up figures of two for 18.