Bangalore, March 2: If Ireland were entertaining hopes of limiting England to not too high a score, their optimism was smothered by a fierce Jonathan Trott who scored 92 and a steady Ian Bell who notched up 81, as their side surged to 327/8.
Only the Irish spinners came anywhere close to posing a threat to the English top-order with George Dockrell and Paul Stirling taking a couple of early wickets between them. However, Ireland grabbed a flurry of wickets at the death, John Mooney picking up 4 and Trent Johnston a couple.
Opener Kevin Peitersen set the tone of the innings by going after a platinum-blond Boyd Rankin early on. He got the tall seamer away for three fours in the bowler's first two overs, before Andrew Staruss launched him for a six in his third. England had climbed to 34/0 in 5 overs.
Just after England crossed 50 in the 9th over, Strauss knocked two boundaries of first-change bowler Alex Cusack. The fours kept coming at a brisk rate, one almost every over before George Dockrell bowled Strauss for 34 off 37 balls. England were 91/1 in 13.3 overs.
But that didn't temper the run flow. In the next over itself, Jonathan Trott hit John Mooney for two fours and Pietersen struck him for a six as England crossed 100. However, just a couple of overs later, Pietersen attempted a half-hearted reverse sweep off Paul Stirling to be caught by keeper Niall O'Brien, for 59 off 50 balls. England were 111/2 in 17 overs.
After those few hic-cups, it was smooth sailing for England as Trott and Ian Bell settled into a comfortable partnership. Though the fours came less frequently, England went past 150 in the 26th over and over 200 in the 34th. In the meantime, Trott had notched up his half-century.
In the 40th over, Trott struck Cusack for a four to bring up England's 250 and celebrated with another boundary. 16 runs had come off the over as Cusack had also bowled 5 wides. Then just as England were approaching 300, Mooney had Bell caught brilliantly at midwicket for 81 and then two overs later, bowled Trott for 92.
On 299/4, Trent Johnston castled Matt Prior for 6. Then 13 runs later, Paul Collingwood holed out to Kevin O'Brien at mid-on off Mooney for 16. Michael Yardy was the next to go, bowled to Johnston for 3 as England had slipped to 317/7. Mooney got his fourth wicket when he dismissed Tim Bresnan for 4 off the last ball. But England had nevertheless posted a huge total of 327/8 in their 50 overs.