September 18, 2020

England avoid Irish upset

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England avoided another embarrassing defeat at the hands of Ireland as they recorded an 11-run win via the Duckworth-Lewis method at Clontarf.

In a game affected badly by rain the visitors made 201-8 from 42 overs, Jonathan Trott and captain Eoin Morgan making contrasting half-centuries.

Ireland reached 42-2 in their revised run chase in the RSA Challenge one-day international before the heavens opened again. When play finally resumed their requirement was down to 129 in 23 overs.

Kevin O’Brien threatened to repeat his heroics of the World Cup encounter earlier this year in angalore, a match that the Irish famously won, before becoming one of three wickets to fall to Jade Dernbach.

The result was the perfect start to the captaincy career of the Dublin-born Morgan, though his former international team-mates did not make it easy.

Fielding an experimental side that included three debutants in James Taylor, Ben Stokes and Scott Borthwick, England rather stuttered throughout their innings to post what seemed to be no more than a competitive total.

Morgan was the one batsman to look fluent on a two-paced pitch with a hint of green to it, making 59 from 65 balls with one huge six and six fours.

The left-hander shared a 102-run stand with Trott, who marked his return to international cricket after a shoulder injury with a rather turgid 69.

The Warwickshire batsman faced 105 deliveries for his runs having opened the innings with Craig Kieswetter, who became the first to fall in the match when he was caught behind off the bowling of John Mooney.

Taylor mustered only a single on his bow, mis-timing a pull off Boyd Rankin high to mid-wicket, shortly before the first lengthy delay in proceedings.

Morgan lifted the gloom with some superb shots but when he was smartly caught and bowled by Paul Stirling, England again lost their way.

Ravi Bopara made just two while Stokes faired only one run better, the Durham all-rounder also giving a return chance back to spinner Stirling (2-46).

Samit Patel and Trott both departed in the batting powerplay, but Chris Woakes (19no) and Scott Borthwick (15) at least saw the visitors past 200.

Ireland found it tough going at the start of their run chase against new-ball pair Woakes and Steven Finn, who claimed the first two wickets to fall.

A further break for bad weather left them having to get 87 off the remaining 60 balls, a task that soon became harder when William Porterfield was almost immediately run out.

Kevin O’Brien – the man whose 63-ball 113 downed England in the World Cup – did give the home crowd some hope, heaving his third and fourth balls over the ropes for sixes in Borthwick’s one-and-only over of leg spin.

But when he was yorked by Dernbach (3-30) for 26 soon after the departure of his brother Niall, Ireland had lost their one real match-winner with the bat.

John Mooney (15) and Gary Wilson (13) tried their best but the innings eventually finished up on 117-8, meaning Morgan was the only Irishman left wearing a smile on his face at the end of the day.

 

 

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