Ireland nearly trip England over
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 28th August 2009
Ireland very nearly ruined England's celebration with an upset win. England very narrowly avoided defeat against Ireland, claiming a three-run victory under the Duckworth/Lewis method in Thursday's one-day international in Belfast. England huffed and puffed to 203-9 and only just managed to hold on as Ireland chased a revised total of 116 in 20 overs after a long rain delay.
Debutant batsman Joe Denly and Luke Wright impressed after England elected to bat in overcast conditions. Opener Denly struck 67, while Wright's 36 injected the innings with impetus after England slipped to 135 for six.
A slow start included Trott being trapped lbw by one which nipped back from Trent Johnston. Bopara also went without scoring to Johnston, after edging a drive to second slip. Matt Prior, captain Paul Collingwood and Owais Shah all perished attempting to step on the gas and when Denly was pinned leg before, England were 135 for six.
Persistent rain stopped the Irish beginning their pursuit for three hours but they finally started with a revised target to aim for. Ireland's chase was propelled along by teenager Paul Stirling's positive intent.
Stirling hit four fours and a six in his 30 which left them needing marginally over four runs per over for the final dozen overs. But the hosts subsided from 64-2 to 89-7. With nine required from the final two deliveries, Johnston lofted to long-on and England 12th man Eoin Morgan, on for Graeme Swann, prevented it clearing the rope by patting the ball back into play.
Johnston and Kyle McCallan, Ireland's final pair, ran two but the quick thinking by Morgan prevented a famous victory for his compatriots. Johnston hit the final ball for four but England held on for a narrow victory.