ENG v IRE, 1st ODI, Review: England storm past Ireland in one-sided affair

England secure a 7-wicket win in a one-sided affair.

England's Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root
England’s Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root congratulate each other after victory. (Photo by David Davies/PA Images via Getty Images)

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England started off their preparation for the upcoming Champions Trophy by steam-rolling visitors Ireland in the 1st ODI at County Ground, Bristol. The English last played an ODI back in March against the West Indies. They white-washed the Windies with a 3-0 series win. England looked a formidable line-up with the return of Eion Morgan, Jason Roy and Sam Billings from India, who were busy playing in the IPL.

Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler continue to play for their respective franchises. Keeping an eye on the all-important Champions Trophy in June, England host Ireland and South Africa in 3-match one day affairs respectively. The English team has been a much-improved side off late and is in the leading contention for the Champions Trophy.

Since their disastrous World Cup campaign down under in 2015, England have been a part of 9 bilateral one-day series and have won 6 of them. Looking at their form, Ireland had their task cut out in trying to restrict the formidable home side.

Ireland skipper William Porterfield won the toss and elected to bat first with similar names in their line-up. Eoin Morgan included Sam Billings and Johnny Bairstow in the lineup in the absence of Stokes and Buttler. Bairstow came off fresh after his devastating 174 against Durham in the Royal London One-Day Cup.

The match started off on a perfect note as Ed Joyce and Paul Stirling were going at eight-an-over. The duo added 43 runs for the first wicket. However, David Willey and Mark Wood took a wicket each to see the back of Irish openers. Balbirnie and skipper Porterfield tried to consolidate after the double strike from English opening bowlers.

From, 40/0 in 5.3 overs to 81/2 in the 18th over of the match, the Irish were bundled out for 126, as none, apart from Niall O’Brien and Murtagh, managed a double digit score. Joe Root was the surprise package for the Ireland batsmen as he clinched the wicket of Porterfield and changed the momentum of the innings.

Root gave away just 9 runs in his five overs and ended up with a couple of wickets to surprise everyone with his bowling, much like the World T20 final at Kolkata where he dismissed Chris Gayle and Johnson Charles in his very first over.

Adil Rashid broke the back of the Irish middle order with his five-wicket haul; his first in ODI cricket and gave away only 27 runs in his eight overs. They only managed to post a paltry 126 in front of the free-flowing English batsmen. Apart from that, the visiting batsmen found it difficult to remain at the crease as they were dismissed in 33 overs.

Coming out to bat, England received a slight jolt when Jason Roy was dismissed in the very first over of the chase without troubling the scorers. Joe Root and Alex Hales then dismissed any hopes for an Irish comeback as they stitched a partnership of 78 runs.

Hales went on to score 39-ball 55 as he creamed ten boundaries at a strike rate of 141. Root finished off the formalities with his unbeaten 49. In the end, it was a one-sided contest as the home side won the match by 7 wickets and 30 overs. Adil Rashid was awarded as the man of the match. England takes a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. The 2nd ODI will take place at Lord’s, a couple of days from now on May 7.

Brief Score

Ireland: 126 in 33 overs (A Balbirnie 30, Ed Joyce 23, Adil Rashid 5/27, Joe Root 9/2)

England: 127/3 in 20 overs (Alex Hales 55, Joe Root 49*, Chase 3/44)

Man of the Match: Adil Rashid