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Rashid takes five as Ireland are routed in historic ODI

May 5th, 2017 | by admin
Rashid takes five as Ireland are routed in historic ODI
England
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England 127 for 3 (Hales 55, Chase 3-44) beat Ireland 126 (Balbirnie 30, Rashid 5-27) by seven wickets

From Rashid Khan to Adil Rashid, legspin was again Ireland’s nemesis as they were bundled out for 126 in their historic first ODI on English soil. Rashid claimed a career-best 5 for 27, the second-best figures by an England spinner in ODIs, to set up a seven-wicket trouncing at the beginning of their final preparations for the Champions Trophy.

Alex Hales took advantage of two reprieves with a 33-ball fifty and the main challenge for England was whether they would complete victory before the interval was needed. The umpires allowed the extra 15 minutes of play available with a result close and a flurry of boundaries from Joe Root, who finished unbeaten on 49, and Jonny Bairstow meant the match was completed in barely more than half the allotted overs.

In the build-up to the match, Ireland captain William Porterfield had said that Rashid Khan had been the difference during their recent struggles against Afghanistan. Conditions in Bristol were a world away from India where those games took place, but there was a jarring similarity to their downfall.

England’s Rashid had been given the nod as their frontline spinner ahead of Moeen Ali for the first match of the summer and though he will come up against far tougher resistance in the months to come, it was a more-than-handy start for a player who relies hugely on confidence. He caused havoc with his googly while Joe Root chipped in with 2 for 9 as the spinners stole the show from the quicks; the seven combined wickets are the most by England spinners in a home ODI.

From 81 for 2, after Porterfield had chosen to bat first, Ireland lost 8 for 45 to be bundled out with 17 overs unused. They have been open in accepting their side is going through a transition – unfortunately at a time when more international opportunities, including Test cricket, are on the doorstep – but this performance will have been a huge disappointment given that their batting is viewed as the stronger suit.

It was a lively start with Paul Stirling clubbing his way to 20 with five boundaries – including three in a row off David Willey – but England were settled by the returning Mark Wood who speared an 89-mph delivery through an expansive drive. Eoin Morgan said yesterday that Wood was still working his way back towards top gear, but his opening five-over spell was an encouraging start for a man viewed as vital to England’s Champions Trophy hopes.

Willey had proved expensive but struck back when Ed Joyce fell across a straight delivery that would have taken leg stump and the two quick wickets forced Ireland to take stock.

Porterfield struggled to get his innings going, but Andy Balbirnie showed some promising signs with a punchy display. However, having flirted with the slip cordon on a couple of occasions, he fell to a flat-footed waft against Jake Ball and from there Ireland’s problems rapidly got worse.

Root was handed the ball in the 22nd over and struck with his second delivery when Porterfield – having scratched 13 off 44 balls – limply lofted to mid-off. The new England Test captain will hope such a midas touch follows him around for the rest of the summer.

Then it was over to Rashid. First he removed Gary Wilson who went for a lap-sweep and immediately reviewed Aleem Dar’s lbw decision, but replays showed he hadn’t touched the ball and neither was it going over the stumps. Then a brace of googlies did for Kevin O’Brien and Stuart Thompson, the former beaten on the inside edge and Thompson, a left-hander, on the outside as he propped forward.

Niall O’Brien was left with the tail and couldn’t do much before he, too, was lbw sweeping at Rashid. He wanted to review, but it had already been used up. Four balls later Rashid had his fifth when Tim Murtagh picked out long-on.

England’s chase did not start in the most convincing manner with Jason Roy, who has had limited middle time after being sidelined in the IPL, clipping to square leg for a duck and Hales dropped by Murtagh low on his follow through before he had scored.

Hales was dropped again, 10, when Niall O’Brien fluffed a sitter down the leg side but while not everything came off the middle he was soon plundering the off side before one swing too man resulted in a top edge into the off side.

Ireland did manage one moment of satisfaction, albeit a hollow victory, when Morgan top-edged a short ball to long leg where Kevin O’Brien held a good catch. It gave Peter Chase career-best ODI figures but this was a day Ireland will want to quickly put behind them.

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