Saturday 19 August 2017

Captain Morgan proves too strong

Cricket

David Townsend

KEVIN O'BRIEN briefly thrilled an expectant crowd at Clontarf yesterday but there was to be no repeat of the World Cup upset as England won the RSA Challenge one-day international by 11 runs.

O'Brien smashed his second ball into the sightscreen and cleared long on with his next but those were his only sixes before Jade Dernbach bowled him with a fast yorker for 26.

Ireland's hopes of chasing down a revised target of 129 from 23 overs departed with the World Cup hero and despite a lively 15 from John Mooney the home side fell well short on 117-8.

Like the clash with Australia last season, the game was there for the taking, perhaps more so as England awarded three new caps, with only Jonathan Trott surviving from the defeat by Ireland in Bangalore.

In a controversially experimental team, it was the old hands of Trott and new captain Eoin Morgan who scored the bulk of the runs that took England to 201-8 from 42 overs on a slow pitch.

Either side of a rain delay, Trott cantered to a top score of 69 but it was Morgan who caught the eye, timing the ball better than any other and clearly relishing playing in front of what used to be his home crowd.

stunning

The former Rush left-hander moved smoothly to his half-century from only 52 balls before falling for 59 to a stunning return catch by Paul Stirling diving wide to his left. He hit six fours and a six.

England's two new bladesmen did not fare well. James Taylor managed only a risky single before he pulled Boyd Rankin to mid-wicket and Ben Stokes used up 10 balls scoring just three before he became Stirling's second victim.

Stirling, who is woefully under-bowled by Middlesex, returned 2-46 from eight overs while Nigel Jones was even more impressive, taking 2-32 from nine. Not bad for a medium-pacer called into the side when Trent Johnston's knee failed a fitness test.

It was a seamer's pitch, though, as Mooney showed in an excellent opening spell that had the England top order hopping around at times and brought the first wicket of Craig Kieswetter, caught behind for 14.

Mooney undid some of the good work by appearing to try too hard in the final over of the innings but still finished with 3-32. What a good cricketer the North County man has become.

Ireland were confident at half-time and more so when Stirling lifted his second ball over cover for six, only to fall in the same over to county colleague Steven Finn, who also accounted for Ed Joyce.

At 42-2 after 13 overs, Ireland had a solid if slightly stodgy base for their chase but a series of showers brought the calculators out and Duckworth-Lewis asked them to score a gettable 87 from 10 overs when play resumed.

Alas skipper William Porterfield immediately ran himself out, Niall O'Brien helped a short ball to deep backward square and, after briefly reviving memories of Bangalore, his brother became the second of Dernbach's three victims. Man-of-the-match Morgan was delighted with his first win as skipper.

"It was like being back at school to be honest but I really enjoyed it," he said. "It was a good challenge for us and an entertaining game. Coming on and off the field tested us a bit but the guys held their nerve at the end and did well."

england

I Trott c Jones b J Mooney ................................................69

C Kieswetter c N O'Brien b J Mooney ............................14

J Taylor c Wilson b Rankin ...................................................1

E Morgan c & b Stirling .......................................................59

R Bopara c N O'Brien b Jones .............................................2

B Stokes c & b Stirling .......................................................... 3

S Patel c K O'Brien b Jones ................................................13

C Woakes not out ...................................................................19

S Borthwick c Stirling b J Mooney ...................................15

S Finn not out ............................................................................0

Extras (lb1 w5 pens 0) ..............................................................6

Total (8 wkts inn complete 42 overs) .............................201

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

Did not bat: J Dernbach.

Bowling: Rankin 6 0 22 1; J Mooney 7 1 32 3; Cusack 5 0 24 0; K O'Brien 3 0 20 0; Dockrell 4 0 24 0; Jones 9 0 32 2; Stirling 8 0 46 2.

ireland

E Joyce c Kieswetter b Finn ..............................................10

P Stirling c Bopara b Finn .....................................................6

W Porterfield run out ...........................................................15

N O'Brien c Finn b Dernbach .............................................13

K O'Brien b Dernbach ..........................................................26

N Jones b Bopara .....................................................................2

G Wilson c Bopara b S Patel ..............................................13

J Mooney c Stokes b Dernbach ........................................15

A Cusack not out ......................................................................6

G Dockrell not out ....................................................................5

Extras (b1 lb1 w4 pens 0) ........................................................6

Total (8 wkts inns complete 22.5 overs) .....................117

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

Did not bat: W Rankin.

Bowling: Woakes 6 1 20 0; Finn 5 1 16 2; Dernbach 4.5 0 30 3; Bopara 4 0 24 1; Borthwick 1 0 13 0; S Patel 2 0 12 1.

Irish Independent

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