England make light work of Irish first-time guests searching for confidence
Yorkshire’s Adil Rashid did most of the damage in heavy defeat for Ireland in Bristol
England’s Adil Rashid celebrates a wicket during their one day international win over Ireland in Bristol. Photo: Andrew Fosker/Inpho
Ireland: 126 all out; England 127-3; England win by seven wickets
After waiting over 160 years for an invite, Ireland didn’t even get their feet under the table in the first One-Day International against England here at the County Ground, going down to a disheartening seven-wicket defeat to Eoin Morgan’s side, the match ending before lunch was taken at just after 2.45pm.
Joe Root’s unbeaten 49 helped England wrap up a run chase on 127 for three – with Peter Chase’s three for 44 the only highlight on the day for an Ireland team that look shorn of confidence following their tough six-week stay in India and a 7-2 defeat to Afghanistan across all three formats of the game.
It left a strong Ireland support in the County Ground to make their way down to the banks of the Avon, with many discussing just what has happened in performance levels since Ireland’s three thrilling wins at the 2015 World Cup.
New Zealander John Bracewell, who took over as head coach from Phil Simmons after that tournament, has worked hard with the present squad, but with the first of six ODIs against Test nations this month having ended in such an abject fashion, his hopes of a renewed contract seem to be on the slide.
Ireland suffered at the hands, or more exactly the fingers, of 18-year-old Afghanistan wizard Rashid Khan as he took 33 wickets in nine matches during that tour. On Friday it was Yorkshire’s Adil Rashid that did damage, expertly using both a helpful wind and pitch to take an ODI career-best of five for 27 overs in eight overs.
To a man, Ireland’s batsman failed to pick Rashid’s googly as he hastened Ireland’s demise after a steady start from openers Ed Joyce and Paul Stirling. He tore the middle order apart with some fine deliveries that left the Ireland batsmen bamboozled, although a few will look back and rue their shot selection.
Ireland’s innings ended just after 1pm, almost 80 minutes before the scheduled interval, with England starting their reply after a 10-minute break. Their total of 126 was their sixth lowest in ODIs and the second lowest scored at Bristol by any country, beating only the 93 scored by Zimbabwe against England in 2003.
Tall Malahide seamer Chase took a wicket with his third delivery, George Dockrell holding a catch at midwicket as Jason Roy went for a duck. Alex Hales is a dangerous opener at the best of times but a brute when a low chase is in front of him and the Nottinghamshire player clobbered 55 from 39 balls, including 10 fours, before he skied a catch to Ireland skipper William Porterfield off Chase to leave England on 78 for two in the 12th over.
England took advantage of the extra half hour allowed to complete the match with Dubliner Morgan looking like he would see his side home before holing out to Kevin O’Brien after flicking a short ball from Chase down to the fine leg boundary.
Root hung around to get the job done alongside his Yorkshire team-mate Jonny Bairstow, the England captain earlier having taken two wickets with his off-spin, including ending Porterfield’s laboured knock after he scored 13 from 45 balls.
Porterfield refuted suggestions that Ireland’s batting was out of its depth against this level of competition and believes a much better performance will come once the side make it to Lord’s for Sunday’s second game.
“You don’t become bad players overnight, having one bad day at the office doesn’t make us a bad team,” he said.
“Losing the way we did isn’t ideal but it’s just a mental thing to turn it around . . . just have an open and honest review of it and park it here and leave it in Bristol. I think it could be pretty easy to park it once lads get to Lord’s, get fired up for that, go to the home of cricket and get settled in there.”
Porterfield admitted that part of the disappointment with the performance was letting the large amount of supporters that travelled to the south west of England.
“It is disappointing, we’ve had a fantastic support here and there’ll be even more numbers coming over for Lord’s,” said Porterfield.
“That is something we want to put right as well. You want to entertain but you also want to give your home fans something to cheer about, especially when they travel and come out in big numbers and give you that support. So that’s definitely a motivating factor for Sunday. And there’s no reason we can’t turn it around, we’ve done it before, came from behind at different times and we’ll be looking to do that on Sunday as well.”