Ireland stepped out only to play for pride in a series that England led by 2-0. Chasing 329 to win, Paul Stirling (142) and Andrew Balbirnie (113) piled up inspiring knocks to ensure that their team did not return empty-handed in what was the first series after a 4-month long pandemic-enforced sabbatical of limited-overs cricket.
Earlier in the day, the visitors won the toss and broke a long course of batting first against England. The opening woes continued as Craig Young made Jason Roy edge one to the keeper and Mark Adair disturbed Jonny Bairstow’s stumps, leaving England misplaced at 14 for 2. James Vince’s blow-hot-blow-cold form blew off as Young’s short of a length ball outside off nipped in to trap him leg before.
As Morgan (106) stood out with a blazing ton, Tom Banton (58) glued in with a composed half-century to stitch a fitting 146-run alliance in tandem with the skipper. The man with a golden run- Willey- ensured making a contribution as he racked up a half-century lower down the order before Curran stretched the English total to 328 through his 38-run cameo.
A thrilling chase
The basis of Ireland’s chase was laid by the duo of Stirling and Balbirnie, who stitched a scintillating 214-run stand for the second wicket. Ireland looked circumspect in the powerplay, perhaps a strategy devised after two lacklustre starts in the series. Paul Stirling showed intent, however, Gareth Delany crawled to find his rhythm before a deceitful slower one from Willey shook his leg stump. With the skipper Andrew Balbirnie joining a well-set Stirling, two of the best players of spin from a team that otherwise struggles against turners were positioned in the middle.
Putting a full-stop to a dreaded run against spinners in the series, both batsmen fancied their chances against Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali through some fearless sweeps and drives. England was sloppy in the field and slipped off more chances than they created. Mahmood brought a moment for England’s potential comeback only to see Vince drop Stirling at mid-wicket when he was on 95; Stirling was then dropped at 139 by Vince again, who messed up and failed to get under the ball at around deep mid-wicket.
The magnificent stand was broken in the 45th over of the chase as Tom Curran inflicted a direct-hit to give Ireland a last moment hiccup. England tightened the noose further as Rashid’s inviting delivery enticed Balbirnie to go inside-out only to be caught by Sam Billings at long-off.
When pressure seemed to be mounting on Ireland, much to England’s disappointment, two new men- Harry Tector and Kevin O’Brien- made way inside with rebellious ideas. O’Brien swayed the momentum in favour when he smoked Willey’s above-waist-high no-ball for a six in the 46th over after which Tector, who was dropped in 47th by Banton, chomped one to the fence against Curran.
The duo eventually rescued the team out of trouble by adding 50 runs in 5.2 overs for the 4th wicket to emblazon a seven-wicket triumph and grab 10 crucial points in the ICC Men’s ODI Super League.
Here’s how Twitter reacted:
We've done it!
— Cricket Ireland (@Irelandcricket) August 4, 2020
Paul Stirling goes to 💯 🎉👏
— ICC (@ICC) August 4, 2020
— Dean Jones AM (@ProfDeano) August 5, 2020
Super proud of @balbo90 and his men. What a wonderful win and 10 points earned on the road to 2023. Young players have grown in stature over these 3 games and will be better for the experiences good and bad. Enjoy your night Ireland fans wherever you are in the world. #ENGvIRE
— Niall John O Brien (@niallnobiobrien) August 5, 2020
— William Porterfield (@purdy34) August 4, 2020
— Danny Morrison (@SteelyDan66) August 4, 2020
☘️ ☘️ ☘️
— Boyd Rankin (@boydrankin) August 4, 2020
— Sandeep Lamichhane (@Sandeep25) August 4, 2020
A fantastic century by the little master @stirlo90 …. showcasing his skill and showing the world what a talent he is. Great game in store here in Southampton. @Irelandcricket chasing a biggy against the World Champs @englandcricket #stirlo
— Niall John O Brien (@niallnobiobrien) August 4, 2020
I’ve followed that team around the world and tonight they produced one of the greatest performances to beat the world champions in their own back yard having been hammered in the first two games. Top order was brilliant tonight #ENGvIRE @RTEsport
— john kenny (@JohnKennyMedia) August 4, 2020
— föxintheböx2001 ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜 (@foxinthebox2010) August 4, 2020
Highest successful men's ODI run chase against England in England:
329 IRE at Southampton, today👈
326 IND at Lord's, 2002
322 SL at Headingley, 2006
317 IND at The Oval, 2007
303 NZ at Southampton, 2015
303 PAK at Cardiff, 2016
300 AUS at Trent Bridge, 2009#ENGvIRE
— hypocaust (@_hypocaust) August 4, 2020
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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