Quickfire fifty - England's Jonny Bairstow hits out during the second One-Day International against Ireland at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton

Southampton (United Kingdom) (AFP) - Jonny Bairstow equalled the England record for the fastest fifty in a one-day international with a 21-ball half-century against Ireland at Southampton on Saturday.

The wicketkeeper went to the landmark in style, driving off-spinner Andy McBrine for the second six of his innings as England pressed for a victory that would put them 2-0 up in a three-match series.

In the process, Bairstow equalled the England record of 21 balls for an ODI fifty set by World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan against Australia at Nottingham two years ago.

Bairstow was eyeing Jos Buttler’s England record fastest ODI hundred of 46 balls, set against Pakistan in Dubai in 2015, when he was caught behind off Josh Little for 82 to end a 41-ball innings featuring 14 fours and two sixes. His exit left England 131-4 off 16 overs chasing a target of 213.

The record quickest fifty in all ODI cricket is 16 balls, set by South Africa’s AB de Villiers during his 149 against the West Indies at Johannesburg in 2015.