England hold off Ireland to avenge World Cup loss

Published: Friday, August 26, 2011, 1:45 [IST]
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England beat Ireland to avenge WC loss

Dublin, Aug 26: England avenged their World Cup defeat against Ireland with an 11-run victory over the hosts in a rain-affected one-day international at Clontarf on Aug 25. The Irish were eyeing another famous win over England after restricting Eoin Morgan's team to 201-8 in 42 overs.

But hopes of a repeat of Ireland's World Cup victory in Bangalore in March were washed away by the constant drizzle that disrupted the hosts' chances of establishing any momentum.

After two rain interruptions during the Irish innings the target was reduced to 129 from 23 overs and England were able to maintain enough control in the closing stages to secure a relatively straightforward win.

Despite losing to the Irish in the World Cup, England opted to make a host of changes for this match and included three debutants in a side captained by Dubliner Eoin Morgan for the first time.

England's understudies found it hard going as new boys James Taylor and Ben Stokes made just four between them.

The visitors were given a solid platform from a century stand between Morgan, who made 59, and Jonathan Trott, who top-scored for England with 69 but they failed to capitalise.

John Mooney took the new ball for Ireland in the absence of the injured Trent Johnston and started well, dismissing Craig Kieswetter for 14 when the wicketkeeper edged to Niall O'Brien took a smart low catch.

Taylor began his international debut with a risky single and his innings ended moments later when Boyd Rankin had him caught at mid-wicket from a mistimed pull.

There had been some unhappiness among the hosts about England's decision to field an under-strength team. But the Irish crowd still gave a warm welcome to Morgan before rain forced the reduction in overs.

Morgan hit George Dockrell for six after the resumption and brought up his 50 from 52 balls before Trott followed him to a half-century off his 78th delivery.

Paul Stirling made the crucial breakthrough when the off-spinner found Morgan's leading edge and made a diving return catch. With 10 overs remaining, England were at 139-4, with a second debutant at the crease in Stokes.

The 20-year-old Durham all-rounder made just three before becoming Stirling's second caught-and-bowled victim. Trott's 105-ball innings ended when his uncharacteristic heave found Jones in the deep off Mooney, but Chris Woakes and Scott Borthwick rallied in the closing overs to see the visitors past 200.

Paul Stirling started Ireland's chase by hitting a six over cover but fell two balls later attempting a second big blow off Steven Finn. Ed Joyce, who won 17 one-day caps for England before recommitting to Ireland, became Finn's second victim when Kieswetter took a thin edge behind the stumps.

Durham leg-spinner Borthwick was handed his first over for England after the restart following more showers and William Porterfield was run out off his second delivery.

That brought Kevin O'Brien to the crease and the man whose unforgettable 113 in 63 balls downed England at the World Cup soon found his range. He heaved his third and fourth balls over the ropes, seeing Borthwick out of the attack after an over and delighting the home fans.

O'Brien had made 26 from 15 balls before a fine Jade Dernbach yorker clattered leg stump, taking Ireland's hopes with it.


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