Ashes heroes toil after solid start by Denly

England 203-9 Ireland 113-9 (England won by 2 runs (D/L))

England needed an Irishman to help them avoid another embarrassing defeat to a minnow in yesterday's one-day international in Belfast. Less than three months after Paul Collingwood led England to defeat in the World Twenty20 opener against the Netherlands at Lord's, he was at the helm again, standing in for the resting Andrew Strauss, as Ireland closed in on victory over the Ashes winners at Stormont.

Needing an unlikely 17 off the last over, Aussie-born Trent Johnston, on his 100th appearance for Ireland, reduced the target to nine off two balls. The fifth ball of the over went to long-on where Middlesex's Eoin Morgan, fielding as 12th man for Graeme Swann, palmed the ball from over the boundary back into play to save the six. In the confusion Ireland ran one short so even with Johnston hitting the last ball for four, they still came up three runs shy and England and Collingwood could flee Ireland with a win.

But there really should only have been one winner – and it wasn't England. After a three-hour delay, the Ireland innings was reduced to the minimum 20 overs and the victory target was 116. After Ryan Sidebottom's first two overs disappeared for 15 and Tim Bresnan's for 13, Ireland raced to 64 for two in the eighth over. Then the wheels came off as leg spinner Adil Rashid held a return catch to dismiss Paul Stirling for a sparkling 30 and Swann, Collingwood and Shah, with three wickets for 15 at the death, rescued England.

England were grateful to a new cap and an opening batsman, coming in at No 7, to help them reach 203 for 9. Joe Denly had played at Stormont two years ago, for Kent on Ireland's homecoming from the 2007 World Cup in a Friends Provident Trophy game and, from No 6, scored 102 not out off 109 balls. He obviously enjoys the Belfast venue. Yesterday, while his top-order team-mates struggled against an accurate but otherwise gentle Ireland bowling attack, he made 67 in his first appearance in a red shirt.

Ravi Bopara missed the celebrations at The Oval having been dropped and his return to international cricket was not one to remember. He lasted just nine balls before he edged Trent Johnston to Ireland's only slip and Paul Stirling held the catch.

Bopara's replacement for the Ashes decider, Jonathan Trott, was sent in first wicket down on his one-day international debut and he fared even worse, trapped in front, just five balls into his innings, by Johnston. Matt Prior failed to survive Andre Botha's third over, caught at long on, and while 29 out of 59 looked good on the scoreboard, his tally of 52 balls received was more relevant.

And it did not improve with Collingwood's scratchy innings. Nine off 23 balls was no help to his side at all and only compounded by his dismissal to leave them 92 for four in the 29th over.

England had opted not to use the one player in their squad more used to Irish conditions than anyone, Dubliner Morgan named as 12th man against the side he played for on 63 occasions, the last as recently as April in the World Cup qualifiers in South Africa. Instead it was his Middlesex team-mate, Owais Shah, who came in at No 6 but while the boundary was still off limits, his 21 off 32 balls at least improved the run-rate.

Denly, after an innings of 111 balls, but only three boundaries, was sixth out, the third victim of Johnston, and it was left to Wright to get England to 200, the minimum they could have planned for, even on this slow surface.

67

Joe Denly's score on his England debut in Ireland yesterday.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
music
Voices
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
Life and Style
Gold timing: the Apple Watch Edition
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor