Records tumble as Ireland defeat Canada
It was a record breaking day in Toronto for both Paul Stirling and the Ireland team, as they bounced back from the loss of the first ODI to inflict a comprehensive 92 run defeat upon Canada.
Stirling rewrote the Irish scoring records with a memorable display of controlled aggression. The 20 year old made a quite magnificent 177 - the highest score by an Irish player in a one-day game - passing the previous best of 142 by Kevin O'Brien against Kenya in 2007.
Stirling's blitz had the statisticians racing for the record books as he climbed the table for highest individual scores in all ODI cricket. He had reached 13th on that list, topped by Sachin Tendulkar's unbeaten 200, when alas, the fun ended when he was caught by Gunasekera off the bowling of Baidwan.
In terms of highest scores for Ireland in all forms of cricket, Stirling's knock occupies fifth spot, with Eoin Morgan's 209 not out against UAE still in pole position.
In total, Stirling hit 21 fours and 5 sixes - another Irish record in terms of total boundaries scored - and faced just 134 deliveries in his little gem of an innings.
Ireland's final score of 325 for 8 was their highest in an ODI, beating their previous best of 308-7, also against Canada back in 2007.
On that occasion an illness ravaged Ireland lost, but there was never any danger of a repeat this time around.
Playing a supporting act role to Stirling were Andrew Poynter (30), Andre Botha (28), Nigel Jones (25), and John Mooney (25) in that Irish total.
Best with the ball for Canada amidst the carnage were Harvir Baidwan (3-60), and Amarbir Hansra (3-27).
Canada's pursuit began badly, with openers Hiral Kumar and Nitish Kumar being dismissed cheaply by Kevin O'Brien and Trent Johnston to leave the score on 34 for 2.
Ruvindu Gunasekera and Ashish Bagai had put on 140 in Canada's triumph on Monday, and for a while they looked as if a repeat would be on the cards. However this time their stand was worth 79, before Gunasekera (59) became the first victim for Albert van der Merwe.
The tall off spinner went on to claim the wickets of Bagai (44), Surkari (7), Hansra (32), and Chohan (0) to finish with the excellent analysis of 5 for 49.
Van der Merwe is the third Irish bowler to claim five wickets in an ODI - Trent Johnston and Alex Cusack are the others.
Canada eventually were dismissed for 233, leaving Ireland winners by 92 runs to square the series 1-1.
On any other day, Van der Merwe's haul would have been enough to grab not only the headlines, but also the Man of the Match Award - but this wasn't just any other day!