England cruise to victory in the first ODI against Ireland at the Ageas Bowl on Thursday.
Ireland never recovered from losing five early wickets to post a defendable total. Despite a mini wobble, a career best unbeaten 67 from Sam Billings and David Willey’s five wicket haul secured a comfortable victory.
On a beautiful summers day in Southampton it was England who won the toss and put Ireland in to bat.
Ireland soon find themselves in trouble
The decision seemed to be vindicated after Ireland slumped to 28-5.
England got an early breakthrough when the dangerous Paul Stirling was out to the fourth ball of the innings off David Willey. The Yorkshire paceman then removed Andrew Balbirnie for three as the visitors struggled with England’s pace attack.
On his odi debut Harry Tector lasted nine balls before he played on to Lancashire’s Saqib Mahmood without scoring. Gareth Delany produced some resistance by hitting five boundaries in his 22 before Willey struck again. Lorcan Tucker was dismissed next delivery to leave Ireland 28-5 and in a heap of trouble.
Curtis Campher– also on his odi debut- avoided Willey’s hat trick ball, but the visitors had it all to do. Willey was looking unplayable and finished a wonderful opening spell with figures of 4-2-12-4.
Visitors rescued by McBrine and Campher
Ireland were rescued by an undefeated half century from Campher and 40 from Andy McBrine. The visitors were eventually dismissed for 172 with Willey finishing with 5-30.
Not quiet the start England were looking for
Requiring 173 for victory at around three and a half an over England lost Jonny Bairstow with twelve on the board. The flamboyant Jason Roy went for a run a ball 24 off Craig Young. The 30-year-old seamer removed James Vince for 25, to leave England 59-3.
The hosts had reached 78-4 when Tom Banton was caught behind, with Ireland sensing their chances of pulling off an upset.
The Irish sense the possibility of an upset
But the experience of Eoin Morgan and clean hitting from Sam Billings took the game away from the Irish. The pair added 96 for the fifth wicket to see England home with twenty two overs to spare.
The second match of three will be at the same venue on Saturday.