dd England stumble to win over Ireland

England stumble to win over Ireland

Published: 02 Aug 2020   

Online Desk

England stumbled against Ireland in the second one-day international but won by four wickets to take an unassailable 2-0 series lead.


Chasing 213 at the Ageas Bowl, the hosts were flying early on, with Jonny Bairstow striking a 41-ball 82.


But when Bairstow fell, Eoin Morgan and Moeen Ali soon followed - all to seamer Josh Little - leaving England 137-6.


It took a 79-run stand by Sam Billings and David Willey to see England home, albeit with 17.3 overs to spare.


Billings ended with an unbeaten 46 and Willey was 47 not out, but the game was closer than had been expected during Ireland's disappointing batting performance, and when Bairstow was powering England to 131-3 inside 13 overs.


Ireland were 91-6 at one stage and had 21-year-old all-rounder Curtis Campher to thank again for taking them to a respectable score. He followed his half-century on debut in the first ODI with 68 and also took 2-44.


For England, Willey backed up his maiden international five-wicket haul on Thursday by taking two more wickets and leg-spinner Adil Rashid claimed an excellent 3-34, including his 150th ODI wicket.


The series finale takes place at the same venue on Tue


England lost four top-order wickets in chasing 173 in the first match of the series on Thursday, and this was another stuttering batting display from the hosts.


Bairstow's belligerent start - he equalled England's fastest fifty in ODIs by passing the landmark in only 21 balls - ensured there was no need to score quickly, but Morgan and Moeen both fell to attacking strokes without scoring.


It was left to Billings to guide England to victory for the second time in three days, after his 67 not out in the series opener.


He saw off the danger period when Ireland sensed victory and was composed in the anchor role, allowing Willey to play the more aggressive shots, including two sixes on the pull.


Had England collapsed further, it would have wasted a professional bowling performance in which Rashid continued his fine form.


He was the stand-out bowler, but there was also a wicket for Reece Topley on his first England appearance for more than four years, which was deserved after an impressive opening spell in combination with fellow left-arm seamer Willey.

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