Monank Patel’s side made history on Wednesday by defeating a Test-playing nation for the first time, and they seemed set for more victory after a solid bowling performance limited Ireland to 150-6 from their allowed 20 overs. However, Lorcan Tucker’s 84 and Curtis Campher’s bowling proved vital for the Irish, who ensured that this first Twenty20 series between the two sides on American territory ended all square with a nine-run triumph.

The teams will now play three one-day international matches at Lauderhill, beginning on Sunday. Ireland was stinging from their thrashing in the opening Twenty20 match of the series on Wednesday, when they were defeated by a comprehensive, record 26-run defeat. But, backed up by some good bowling and much better fielding, the home side, who chose to send the Irish into bat after winning the toss, put on another brilliant display that delighted a large crowd at the Broward County Stadium, even if they lost.

The US catching was outstanding, with practically every opportunity being held, the best of which came when Marty Kain bent low and executed a stunning diving effort to dismiss William McClintock and put the visitors in serious danger at 96-6. With three overs left in the contest, Ireland found themselves teetering on 128-8, and when US skipper Patel delivered an outstanding piece of wicketkeeping by running out Barry McCarthy with a classy dive and throw to the stumps, prospects of another famous US victory were high.

Despite this, Tucker, who top-scored for Ireland in the first encounter with an unbeaten 57, was the match winner with a magnificent innings of 84 from 56 balls, which featured three sixes and helped set what appeared to be a low-scoring goal of 150. In response, the Americans got off to a strong start, recovering from opener Ryan Scott’s unfortunate run-out to reach 34-1 after six overs.

However, Ireland’s bowling improved dramatically, and it wasn’t until Gajanand Singh, the American match winner with the bat in the first game, resurfaced and proceeded to unleash some devastating smashes that the game was won. The run rate, on the other hand, was rising, with Ireland’s standout bowler, Campher, taking four wickets.

Despite the best efforts of Sushant Modani, who slammed 27 from 15 including two maximums before being caught in the deep, the US were left with too much to do after Singh was trapped LBW by the dangerous Campher.