Canada won their first-ever Twenty20 World Cup match with a stunning 12-run victory against Ireland at a 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in New York on Friday.

Defending a target of just 138, the associate nation bowled and fielded expertly to hold Ireland to 125-7 from their full 20 overs.

From 26-0, Ireland lost six wickets for 33 runs as they slumped to 59-6, with Andrew Balbirnie (17) and Lorcan Tucker (10) the only top-order batsmen to reach double figures.

George Dockrell (30 not out) and Mark Adair (34) revived Irish hopes with a partnership of 62 in seven overs.

The seventh-wicket duo reduced the target to 17 off the last six balls.

But Canada paceman Jeremy Gordon held his nerve superbly, conceding just three runs and dismissing Adair with the second ball of the 20th over.

The 37-year-old Guyana-born Gordon finished with fine figures of 2-16 from his maximum four overs as Canada, the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, enjoyed their best day in international cricket since defeating Bangladesh at the 2003 ICC Men’s ODI World Cup.

Victory meant Canada bounced back from an opening defeat by fellow associate team the United States, with the co-hosts then blowing Group A wide open thanks to a superb Super Over win against Pakistan in Dallas on Thursday.

But Ireland's second successive loss at the tournament, following an eight-wicket defeat by India, left them facing an early exit.

Rarlier, Canada themselves had slumped to 53-4 on Friday after losing the toss before a key stand of 75 in 10 overs between Barbados-born left-hander Nicholas Kirton (49) and Shreyas Movva (37) helped take them to a total of 137-7.

Pitches at the specially built ground in Long Island have been criticised for their uneven bounce but Friday's strip was notably more placid.

The biggest issue for the batter was a slow outfield that denied them full value for their shots – still a worry ahead of Sunday's showpiece match at the venue between arch-rivals India and Pakistan. '

Strength to strength

Kirton, however, still hit 16 off one Craig Young over, a return helped by two straight sixes, before his 35-ball innings ended when he gloved Barry McCarthy to short fine leg.

“It wasn’t so bad, bar the middle of the wicket, a pretty good wicket to bat on to be honest,” said Kirton, the player of the match.

The 26-year-old added: “The partnership [with Movva] was very important, it got us over the line. It’s very good to get our first win in the World Cup, hopefully we can continue from strength to strength. Out next focus is Pakistan, have a rest day tomorrow [Saturday] and get back in the nets.”

For an Ireland side more used to causing shocks at global events than being on the receiving end, it was a bitter reversal of fortune.

“We were off in all three facets [batting, bowling and fielding] today and that wasn’t good enough," said Ireland captain Paul Stirling.

“Hopefully we can show a better game when we go to Miami next week [to play the USA].”