Carrick connections at World Cup

Ireland's Paul Stirling
Ireland's Paul Stirling

There were strong Carrickfergus Cricket Club links on show as Ireland took on South Africa in their World Cup match in Australia on Tuesday.

Former Middle Road men AB De Villiers and Paul Stirling were on opposing sides in the Pool B game in Canberra as South Africa powered their way to a 201-runs victory.

South Africa's AB De Villiers scored 233 not-out for Carrickfergus Cricket Club against Cliftonville in 2004.

South Africa's AB De Villiers scored 233 not-out for Carrickfergus Cricket Club against Cliftonville in 2004.

De Villiers, regarded as one of the best players in the world, played for Carrick over a decade ago and is fondly remembered at the club for a remarkable 233 not-out off 150 balls against Cliftonville in 2004.

In what was their first defeat of the tournament, Ireland simply could not stop Hashim Amla making 159 and Faf du Plessis 109 as they helped fire their side to 411-4. De Villiers notched up 24 runs and later took the wicket of John Mooney.

Ireland, with a mountain to climb, were all out for 210. Andrew Balbirnie top-scored with 58.

Stirling lasted only 13 minutes at the crease, claiming just nine runs before he was caught by wicket-keeper Quinton De Kock from a Dale Steyn delivery.

Last Wednesday Ireland had made it back-to-back wins with a narrow victory over United Arab Emirates.

Gary Wilson and Kevin O’Brien starred with the bat as the boys in green chased 279 at The Gabba in Brisbane.

An 80 from Wilson and O’Brien’s 50 off 25 helped the team on their way to a nervy two-wicket success with four balls to spare.

Stirling, who took 2-27 with the ball, was bowled by Manjula Guruge and caught by Swapnil Patil for a meagre three runs.

After his magnificent man-of-the-match display with 92 off just 84 balls against the West Indies, this time out the former Belfast High School pupil survived just six minutes, facing nine balls.