Ireland 146 for 6 (Balbirnie 44) beat USA 100 (Mooney 2-17, Cusack 2-19, Thompson 2-20) by 46 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
John Mooney followed up a late cameo with two wickets as Ireland held off USA for a 46-run win at Stormont. USA fielded superbly through the first 18 overs to hold Ireland to 117 for 5 but came unstuck with the arrival of Mooney in the 19th as he clipped an unbeaten 20 off seven balls, taking Ireland to safety with a final total of 146 for 6 that was more than enough against USA's brittle middle order that mustered only 100 in 16.3 overs.
USA put Ireland into bat at the toss and tied the hosts down in the power play with Hammad Shahid striking the first blow on his very first ball, beating Paul Stirling with a full and straight ball for 8. Shahid pouched Niall O' Brien's catch at mid on off Jasdeep Singh nine balls later to make it 22 for 2. Ireland managed 39 for 2 at the end of the Powerplay.
With both openers gone, Timil Patel burrowed into the middle order and produced a fantastic spell of legspin to finish with 3 for 13 in four overs. William Porterfield was trapped in front missing a reverse sweep for 10 before Timil induced Kevin O'Brien to mistime one to mid off for 23. Gary Wilson checked his shot to a flighted ball only for Fahad Babar to take an easy catch at cover to make it 92 for 5 one ball into the 16th.
Timil should have had Andy Balbirnie for 13 as well but a mistimed shot to cover burst through Babar's lunging effort. Balbirnie had another life on 23 when he flicked Adil Bhatti low to captain Muhammad Ghous at midwicket who spilled the chance. Balbirnie made the most of the extra lives, finishing with 44 off 34 balls in a man-of-the-match effort as he teamed with Stuart Thompson and Mooney to add 54 off Ireland's last 29 balls.
USA also contributed four of their five no balls in the innings during this stretch as they lost focus at a critical time. Balbirnie seized on a no ball by Shahid to start off the 17th, smacking the ensuing free hit to sweeper cover where a misfield by Bhatti allowed a boundary. He then scooped Shahid over fine leg the next ball for another four.
When Balbirnie fell to Shahid courtesy of a circus catch at short third man by Babar, Mooney accelerated brilliantly, pulling the medium pacer through square leg for four and lofting him over long on for six. Singh started off the final over with a pair of yorkers but then tried bouncing Mooney, who was ready to ramp him over the keeper. Mooney scooped Singh over fine leg for another boundary, and Thompson clattered another back over Singh's head to take the wind out of USA's sails at the interval.
USA's chase didn't begin well as Akeem Dodson, after top-scoring with 39 against Nepal, was out first ball to Alex Cusack after failing to evade a short ball. USA had lost both their openers one ball into the fifth over when Babar flicked Thompson straight to Craig Young at short fine leg.
USA substituted out the middle order pair of Shiva Vashishat and Mrunal Patel from the loss to Nepal in favour of debutant Alex Amsterdam and Nicholas Standford but the pair of New York batsmen did not fare much better. Amsterdam survived a tough spell against Young only to give away his wicket for 16, swatting Mooney to Young at mid on. Standford fell for 19 to end the ninth with the score reading 61 for 4.
USA still had slim hopes when 74 runs were required off 54 balls, but the chase spiralled out of control as they lost four wickets in eight balls. Karan Ganesh gave Mooney his second wicket in the 11th before mayhem was unleashed in the 12th.
Japen Patel was the first run-out victim after his call from the non-striker's end for a run was ignored by Bhatti and both batsmen wound up at the same end. Bhatti was beaten for pace by Thompson three balls later for 17 before Ireland made it two in two when Timil was runout on his first ball after Ghous didn't respond to a call for an easy second run.
Kevin O'Brien pinned Singh on the crease in the 16th over before Cusack ended the match by getting Ghous to hole out to Niall at long on.