Paul Stirling's first ever Twenty20 international hundred helped Ireland move 2-1 up in their five-match series with Zimbabwe.

The opener carried his bat and finished 115 not out in his team’s total of 178 for two, which proved more than enough for the tourists in Bready after they were dismissed for 138.

Stirling was far from fluent at the beginning of his innings and reached his fifty at a strike rate of only just better than a run-a-ball, but moved through the gears during the final few overs.

He motored from 52 off 47 to his century in the space of 23 balls, with three maximums off a Tendai Chatara over costing 25 runs bringing up his three figures.

In the process Stirling became only the second player after Kevin O’Brien to score a hundred for Ireland in the sprint format having previously been dismissed twice in the 90s.

Zimbabwe, who had initially restricted the hosts well, lost early wickets in their chase with Mark Adair claiming three for 11 as they were all out with 10 balls of their innings left despite the best efforts of captain Craig Ervine, who top-scored with 33.