There was no replay of Ireland’s heroic win in Bangalore as the brave home side were beaten by England in a rain affected game at Clontarf. Ireland put in a battling display but rain and a fine bowling display from Jade Dernbach and Steve Finn denied Ireland of back to back wins over their near neighbours.
Ireland skipper Will Porterfield won the toss and after some early morning rain decided to put the visitors in on a slow track. Dublin born Eoin Morgan led the young English side and he and Jonathan Trott were the main stays in the visitors’ total of 201-8. The game was reduced to 42 overs a side after a lengthy rain delay during the first innings and Ireland’s bowlers, without the veteran Trent Johnston did well to restrict England’s talented top six. John Mooney opened the bowling with Boyd Rankin in the absence of Johnston and both bowlers troubled England’s openers. Kieswetter struggled for his 14 before edging Mooney behind to Niall O’Brien. Trott was holding firm though at the other end despite some tight bowling. James Taylor failed with the bat for one of the few times. The Leicestershire batsmen couldn’t keep down a Rankin bouncer and his skier was pouched by Gary Wilson at mid wicket.
England were struggling and scoring slowly after 12 overs but a rain delay which lasted over an hour seemed to spark the visitors into action. Trott was joined by Morgan and the pair put on a partnership of 100 with both batsmen scoring half centuries. The game was reduced to 42 overs following the delay and Morgan and Trott both accelerated as the England captain took advantage of some medium pace bowling. He was given a terrific reception by the Clontarf crowd and when he fell for 59, the crowd rose once again to show their appreciation for Ireland’s most famous export.
Morgan’s dismissal sparked the start of an England demise when they seemed to be a very strong position. Ravi Bopara and debutant Ben Stokes both came and went and hardly troubled the scorers as England suddenly found themselves in a spot of bother. At 148-5 with just ten overs to go, stand in coach Richard Halsall would have been worrying slightly as Ireland fought back. Samit Patel, Chris Woakes and Scott Borthwick all chipped in and they brought the total up past the 200 mark after their allocated overs.
Ireland showed determination and fight in the midfield and caused England’s batsmen problems throughout the innings. Pick of the bowlers was John Mooney, who took 3-32.
Ed Joyce opened with Paul Stirling and looked to get the Irish off to a good start. Stirling, who has been in excellent form recently for Middlesex, smashed his county colleague Steve Finn over cover for a flat six but then went for one big shot too many as he skied one from Finn to Bopara at point. Will Porterfield joined Joyce at the crease but the heavens opened once again but before that Joyce edged the excellent Finn behind to Kieswetter and the players were forced off for another interruption of over an hour.
On returning, the game was reduced again to 23 overs, Ireland had faced thirteen overs before the rain so that left them with ten overs to get 87 runs as their revised target was 129 from 23 overs. Porterfield was run out cheaply just after the delay and that brought Bangalore hero Kevin O’Brien to the crease. O’Brien looked to re create his heroics and in his first three balls he hit debutant leg spinner Scott Borthwick into the stands for huge maximums. Jade Dernbach’s variations have got him the recognition for selection and he was using his slower balls to great effect as Niall O’Brien holed out to Finn on the boundary and Ireland’s task was getting bigger and bigger. Ravi Bopara and Dernbach were not restricting Ireland and when Dernbach cleaned up Kevin O’Brien’s stumps then Ireland were all but beaten. A cameo from John Mooney nearly got them there but in the end the quality of England’s bowling at the depth was far too good and Ireland fell 11 runs short on the D/L method.
England: 201-8 after 42 overs (E.Morgan 59, J.Trott 69, J.Mooney 3-32)
Ireland: 117-8 after 23 overs (K. O’Brien 26, W.Porterfield 15, J.Dernbach 3-30)
England win by 11 runs (D/L method)