Paul Stirling signed off his winter’s work with a barnstorming 77 from 41 balls in Chattogram yesterday (FRI) to lead Ireland to a consolation seven-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the final T20 international of a three-match series.

It was the first time Ireland have won in Bangladesh, or beaten any team at home on the sub-continent, and means that in losing the series 2-1 the Boys in Green went one better than world champions England who lost 3-0 earlier in the month.

As he was quick to point out after the game, Stirling’s task was largely pressure free after a much-improved bowling display that dismissed the previously rampant home side for 124, a total Ireland galloped past with a full six overs to spare.

The contrast between this Bangladesh batting performance and those in the first two matches was summed up by their powerplay scores: 81-0 and 73-0 (from five overs) were winning starts, while 41-4 was never likely to be.

All seven Ireland bowlers took wickets, none more memorable than 20-year-old debutant Matthew Humphreys hitting the stumps with his first ball in T20is, and striking again with his third, while Mark Adair and Gareth Delany also notched with their first deliveries.

Maybe the rub of the green was with the Boys in Green too with the first three Bangladeshi batters picking out lone fielders in the deep and other shots going to hand where a couple of meters higher or wider would have brought boundaries.

“My knock comes from how the bowlers set up the game for us,” stand-in skipper Stirling said. “We improve when we play more and they deserve all the credit to come back from what we have been through the last two weeks. 

“We have been a little slow off the blocks.”

Stirling who has controversially been rested from next week’s Test match, and the two to follow in Sri Lanka, will enjoy his break from the game more after ending a poor trot of scores with his 22nd T20i half-century.

He struck four sixes - one an outrageous scoop, another a more typical bludgeon over mid-wicket - and 10 fours before holing out to long on, leaving Harry Tector and Curtis Campher to complete the surprisingly one-sided win.