Though Ireland lost the final ODI of their recent home series against South Africa, a record-breaking hundred from Simi Singh meant that they went down fighting. The all-rounder struck an unbeaten 100 to delight the Irish supporters, becoming the first man to register an ODI century batting at number eight. On that note, here is a look at the highest individual men’s ODI scores for Ireland from each position.
1) Paul Stirling – 177 v Canada, Toronto, 2010
Ireland squared the two-match series thanks to a monumental maiden ODI hundred from Stirling. The 20-year-old opener creamed 21 fours and five sixes on his way to 177 off just 134 balls, in the process going past Kevin O’Brien’s 142 for the Irish ODI record. Ireland eventually amassed 325/8, then their highest total, and won by 92 runs. Stirling has since gone on to become Ireland’s most prolific ODI batsman.
2) Ed Joyce – 160* v Afghanistan, Belfast, 2016
With Ireland needing a win to draw the five-match series, the evergreen Joyce rose to the occasion with one of the finest innings on Irish soil. The 37-year-old southpaw scored his second match-winning century of the series and proceeded to remain unbeaten on 160 from 148 balls with 19 fours and three sixes – the highest score of his long List A career. Replying to Ireland’s 265/5, Afghanistan were restricted to 253/9.
3) Andy Balbirnie – 145* v Afghanistan, Dehradun, 2018-19
Down by 1-0 in the five-match series, Ireland slipped to 73/4 in a tricky chase of 257 in this third ODI. However, the situation and Aghanistan’s potent spin attack did not deter Balbirnie, who turned the game around during a fifth-wicket stand of 146 with George Dockrell (54). He finished with a brilliant 145* from 136 balls, lit with eight fours and as many sixes, to steer Ireland to a four-wicket win with an over to spare.
4) Ed Joyce – 116* v United Arab Emirates, Dubai, 2017-18
This was the opening match of the UAE Tri-Series that also involved Scotland. After limiting the UAE to 222/9, Ireland lost Stirling and Balbirnie for ducks with only five runs on the board. Joyce arrived at this stage, and later found support from Gary Wilson (53) at 91/5 – the duo put on 131 to mould an Irish win by four wickets with four balls to spare. Joyce faced 149 balls for his 116*, hitting 13 fours and a six.
5) Kevin O’Brien – 142 v Kenya, Nairobi, 2006-07
O’Brien achieved the highest ODI score by an Irishman in this thrilling World Cricket League match. He added 227 – still an all-wicket record for Ireland – for the fourth wicket with William Porterfield (104*) before falling off the last ball for 142 in 125 balls, with 11 fours and six sixes. Chasing 285, Kenya slumped to 231/9 before a 36-ball 61* from Thomas Odoyo helped them pull off an improbable one-wicket win.
6) Kevin O’Brien – 113 v England, Bangalore, 2010-11
When O’Brien came in, Ireland were 106/4 in pursuit of 328 in this World Cup clash. The score further fell to 111/5 in the 25th over. But O’Brien launched an onslaught for the ages, blasting 13 fours and six sixes en route to a surreal 113 in 63 balls. His hundred came in 50 balls – the fastest at the World Cup. His sixth-wicket stand of 162 with Alex Cusack (47) spurred Ireland towards a historic three-wicket win in the final over.
7) Curtis Campher – 68 v England, Southampton, 2020
Campher made his ODI debut in Ireland’s first Super League match against England, scoring 59* from number seven even as Ireland were beaten by six wickets. The promising all-rounder did even better in the second match, this time compiling 68 in 87 balls with eight fours to help Ireland recover from 78/5 to 212. Ireland were in with a sniff when England stumbled to 137/6, but ultimately lost by four wickets.
8) Simi Singh – 100* v South Africa, Dublin (Malahide), 2021
Leading the three-match series 1-0 after a first ever win against South Africa, Ireland ran into Janneman Malan (177) and Quinton de Kock (120), who powered the Proteas to an imposing 346/4. At 92/6, a big defeat loomed for Ireland. However, Simi Singh delayed the inevitable, collecting 14 fours to reach 100* off 91 balls. With the aid of Campher (50) and the tail, he ensured that the losing margin was kept to 70 runs.
9) Kyle McCallan – 46* v Scotland, Ayr, 2006
The Irishmen achieved their first ODI win in the second attempt, beating Scotland by 85 runs in this European Championship Division One fixture. Eoin Morgan, on debut, was joined by off-spinner McCallan at 164/7, and together they put on a vital 73 before the former was unfortunately run out for 99. McCallan remained unbeaten on a breezy 46 from just 35 balls as Ireland totalled 240/8. He later returned tidy figures of 2/37.
10) John Mooney – 30* v England, Belfast, 2006
Ireland held their own in their inaugural ODI, in which they faced England at Stormont. Ed Joyce turned out for England on his debut, but it was his opening partner Marcus Trescothick (113) who carried the visitors to 301/7. Andre Botha (52) top-scored for Ireland, while the lower order did their bit too. Mooney, who had earlier taken 3/79, came in at 210/8 and smote 30* in 26 balls to help swell the total to 263/9.
11) Boyd Rankin – 18* v Sri Lanka, Dublin (Malahide), 2016
The Irish bowling was taken to the cleaners by Kusal Perera (135) and Seekkuge Prasanna (95 in just 46 balls), which led to a total of 377/8 – the highest in ODIs at Malahide. Ireland’s best stand came for the last wicket, as Rankin’s run-a-ball 18* helped Andy McBrine (79) take the total from 187/9 to 241. Incidentally, McBrine’s 79 was the highest ODI score by an Irish number eight until Singh’s effort.