PAUL STIRLING led Ireland to a comfortable nine-wicket victory over Denmark with an unbeaten half-century in Edinburgh as the Boys in Green took a much more confident step towards qualifying for next year’s T20 World Cup.

Stirling would no doubt have had words in the dressing room on Thursday after a tentative performance against Italy and the new white-ball skipper would have been delighted with the response.

Mark Adair and Barry McCarthy took three wickets each and leg-spinner Ben White put in another strong shift taking 2-28 from his four overs at The Grange as Ireland applied a stranglehold in the middle overs to restrict Denmark to 122-9.

The biggest threat came from two Leinster club players. Nicolaj Damgaard a powerful opening bat who plays for The Hills in Fingal holed out to Adair for 20 from 10 balls, while Pheonix all-rounder Oliver Hald top scored with 21.

Stirling and Andy Balbirnie added 90 to break the back of the chase - the former skipper completing his ninth T20 international century before he was bowled for 53 from 38 balls, and his successor finishing on 55 not out as Ireland won with 33 balls to spare.

“We were a little bit more clinical in this game, and I’m delighted with how that went,” Stirling said. “We were better in all facets of our game - that’s two from two and we move on again.

“It’s great to see Bal in form. It was a little bit difficult out there at times but he played some classy shots and showed that you don’t just have to muscle it all the time.

“We were happy with just getting the result against Italy, but actions speak louder than words, and we want every performance to be a percentage improvement.”