The inaugural ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League starts with a comfortable victory by the latest World Cup winners England. In the opening game of the three-match home ODI series against Ireland at Southampton on Thursday (30th July), England registered a six-wicket victory with 133 balls left. With this victory, England have not only taken the 1-0 lead in this ODI series but also opened up their account in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League points table with 10 points.
After England decided to field first, Ireland were bundled out for just 172 runs in 44.4 overs. In reply, the hosts struggled in the beginning but reached the target in 27.5 overs after losing four wickets.
While the English left-arm pacer David Willey shined in the first innings, the right-handed middle-order batsman Sam Billings played the crucial role to chase that target comfortably. Meanwhile, the Irish debutant Curtis Campher was the standout performer for his side but he didn’t get enough support from his teammates.
England innings: Struggling on 78/4; Sam Billings and skipper Eoin Morgan rescued the hosts
Chasing down the target, England top-order batsmen failed to provide a strong start as it opened up a nervous moment in the hosts’ innings. In the very first over of the second innings, Ireland got a major blow as the right-arm pacer Barry McCarthy left the ground due to hamstring-like issue as he managed to deliver only five balls.
Opener Jonny Bairstow (2) was dismissed in the third over by the off-spinner Andy McBrine after the visitors successfully used the DRS on an lbw appeal. After scoring 24 runs, another English opener Jason Roy lost his wicket as this time the pacer Craig Young trapped him lbw.
James Vince strongly started his innings and scored 25 runs off 21 balls (5 fours), but just before the end of the first powerplay, he was caught behind as Young added another wicket in his account.
On his fourth ball, Irish debutant Curtis Campher dismissed Tom Banton for just 11 runs. At that stage, the hosts were struggling on 78/4.
However, the two middle-order batsmen, Sam Billings and the skipper Eoin Morgan then controlled that innings and slowly made the chasing comfortable for the side. They set up the 96 runs partnership for the unbroken fifth wicket that helped the English team to chase down the target inside the 30 overs.
Billings completed his third ODI fifty in 41 balls and remained not out on 67 runs off 54 balls (11 fours). Meanwhile, Morgan finished the game with a sixer as he was not out on 36 runs off 40 balls.
Ireland innings: David Willey registered his maiden ODI five-wicket haul, but debutant Curtis Campher scored a fifty
Earlier, England pacer David Willey provided a strong start for the hosts as Ireland were five-down for just 28 runs in the 7th over. Apart from the opener Gareth Delany (22), all other four Irish batsmen lost their wickets in the single-digits, including two ducks. Another Irish ODI debutant Harry Tector scored a nine-ball duck in that period. Out of those first five wickets, the left-arm English pacer Willey bagged four wickets.
Then Kevin O’Brien and debutant Curtis Campher built up the 51 runs partnership for the sixth wicket. After scoring 22 runs, Kevin lost his wicket, while Simi Singh (0) also followed him soon after a dreadful run-out. At that stage, the visitors were battling on 79/7.
However, the debutant Campher didn’t lose his hope, rather than, he built up a strong eighth-wicket partnership of 66 runs with Andy McBrine. Campher brilliantly completed a half-century on his ODI debut in 103 balls. But soon after his 50 runs, McBrine lost his wicket on 40 runs. Barry McCarthy (3) and Craig Young (11) built up the little partnerships at the end while Campher remained not out on 59 runs off 118 balls (4 fours).
On the other hand, Willey claimed his first ODI five-wicket haul after dismissing the last Irish batsman Young. The Player of the Match award winner Willey had the bowling figures of 8.4-2-30-5. Also, Saqib Mahmood (2/36) bagged two wickets while Adil Rashid (1/26) and Tom Curran (1/37) picked up one wicket each.