Morgan's trip home ends in victory without much honour

England 201-8 Ireland 117-8 (England win by 11 runs - D/L method)
  • @stephenbrenkley

There was no chance to lay the ghosts of Bangalore. For long enough yesterday, England might have worried that there would be demons of Dublin to contend with in the years to come.

As it was, before dashing to the airport having barely had time to be considerate guests, they eventually did a workmanlike job to defeat Ireland by 11 runs. It was as necessarily professional as it was uninspiring, for which Duckworth Lewis could largely be blamed.

Or rather, not D-L and their estimable method, but the circumstances that render it essential. Rain meddled with the fifth one-day international between the sides almost from the start. The upshot is usually that the match is unsatisfactory and so it proved.

England won by 11 runs after Ireland failed to make the 129 they needed to win after the visitors made 201 for 8 from 42 overs. Any chance that Ireland might have had probably foundered after the final interruption which left them needing 87 from 10 runs.

If it was statistically accurate then it was also brutal, and since they had already lost two wickets, beyond them. Perhaps D-L was taking into account that Ireland still had Kevin O'Brien up their sleeves. O'Brien it was who made a rapidfire 113 that balmy night in Bangalore to win a World Cup match that had seemingly disappeared down the pan.

Fleetingly, O'Brien threatened to repeat his pyrotechnics as he struck successive sixes off the leg-spin of Scott Borthwick, one of England's three debutants. With another two fours, he had already blasted – it seems the only word to describe this form of no-nonsense batting – his way to 26 from 15 balls.

Surely, England were thinking, it could not happen again? Or Jonathan Trott might have been thinking it, as he was the only visiting player on duty that night who played in this match. It did not and when O'Brien was bowled by a searching yorker from Jade Dernbach, the rest of the pursuit was agonisingly forlorn. Ireland never gave up but they were always too far away to get within touching distance.

Trott, as he was in Banglore, was top scorer. But his 69 from 105 balls was one of those opinion-dividing innings which are his one-day custom and practice. Without it, England might have been in a deep mess but with it others, including the young and inexperienced, were daunted by the need to score briskly. Maybe they have to learn.

Trott never takes the game by the scruff and never looks concerned by it, a virtue to a limited extent. He makes the others play round him. If ever he was going to hit a six in ODI cricket this was the match, for the boundaries at Clontarf are small. But he did not and never looked like doing so.

Whereas it took Borthwick until his eighth ball as an England player to drill a six off a length ball down the ground. So he knows how it is to hit and be hit for sixes.

Trott's efforts were not enough to win him the man-of-the-match award. That went to England's captain, Eoin Morgan, less for his captaincy perhaps (which involved a lot of looking at charts and discussions with umpires to check who was allowed to bowl in a shortened match) than for his batting.

Against the side he once played for on a ground he will have graced many times before, he is not the kind of character to miss the opportunity to make a point. He batted sublimely for his 59 from 65 balls, dapper and dashing.

When he was out, England rather mucked up the final overs and were fortunate to scrape past 200. The match, already reduced to 42 overs, was further curtailed. Steve Finn knocked the top off Ireland's innings with some fast, accurate bowling and Dernbach was smart in the middle.

None of Ireland's batsman truly coped with the demands and, upset though they were that England failed to send a full-strength team, they had no complaints about the result. It was a pleasant occasion but it would have been more enjoyable had there been the sense that England truly embraced the idea of being here.

Slow starters: How England's new boys performed

James Taylor Not an ideal pitch for a batting debutant. Scrambled a tight single to get off the mark in international cricket and then perished to one of his wristy, trademark pulls, perhaps ill-advised in the circumstances.

Ben Stokes Looked the part as he stood tall at the crease and defended crisply and assuredly. But the demand for quick runs was urgent with only 10 overs left and Trott having set out his stall at the other end and he drove too soon to give Paul Stirling a return catch.

Scott Borthwick Played a greater part in proceedings than his two fellow debutants. Faced nine balls, assuredly hitting a six and a four. He then effected a run out in his only over but it finished with being clubbed for two Kevin O'Brien sixes and he went out to the long grass.

Clontarf scoreboard

Dublin (One day): England beat Ireland by 11 runs (D/L Method); Ireland won toss


I J L Trott c Jones b Mooney 69, 105 balls 0 sixes 6 fours

†C Kieswetter c N J O'Brien b Mooney 14, 26 balls 1 sixes 1 fours

J W A Taylor c Wilson b Rankin 1, 8 balls 0 sixes 0 fours

*E J G Morgan c & b Stirling 59, 65 balls 1 sixes 6 fours

R S Bopara c N J O'Brien b Jones 2, 4 balls 0 sixes 0 fours

B A Stokes c & b Stirling 3, 10 balls 0 sixes 0 fours

S R Patel c K J O'Brien b Jones 13, 12 balls 0 sixes 2 fours

C R Woakes not out 19, 13 balls 0 sixes 2 fours

S G Borthwick c Stirling b Mooney 15, 9 balls 1 sixes 1 fours

S T Finn not out 0, 0 balls 0 sixes 0 fours

Extras (lb1 w5) 6

Total (for 8, 42 overs) 201

Fall 1-24, 2-34, 3-136, 4-139, 5-148, 6-165, 7-172, 8-197.

Did not bat J W Dernbach.

Bowling W B Rankin 6-0-22-1, J F Mooney 7-1-32-3, A R Cusack 5-0-24-0, K J O'Brien 3-0-20-0, G H Dockrell 4-0-24-0, N G Jones 9-0-32-2, P R Stirling 8-0-46-2.


E C Joyce c Kieswetter b Finn 10, 22 balls 0 sixes 2 fours

P R Stirling c Bopara b Finn 6, 3 balls 1 sixes 0 fours

*W T S Porterfield run out 15, 37 balls 0 sixes 3 fours

†N J O'Brien c Finn b Dernbach 13, 24 balls 0 sixes 1 fours

K J O'Brien b Dernbach 26, 15 balls 2 sixes 2 fours

N G Jones b Bopara 2, 4 balls 0 sixes 0 fours

G C Wilson c Bopara b Patel 13, 14 balls 0 sixes 1 fours

J F Mooney c Stokes b Dernbach 15, 8 balls 1 sixes 1 fours

A R Cusack not out 6, 6 balls 0 sixes 0 fours

G H Dockrell not out 5, 4 balls 0 sixes 1 fours

Extras (b1 lb1 w4) 6

Total (for 8, 22.5 overs) 117

Fall 1-12, 2-24, 3-43, 4-66, 5-71, 6-77, 7-97, 8-108.

Did not bat W B Rankin.

Bowling C R Woakes 6-1-20-0, S T Finn 5-1-16-2, J W Dernbach 4.5-0-30-3, R S Bopara 4-0-24-1, S G Borthwick 1-0-13-0, S R Patel 2-0-12-1.

Umpires S J Davis (Aus) and M Hawthorne.