Ireland beat England by five runs (D/L Method) in yesterday’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). In a rain-hit Super 12 clash in Group 1, the Englishmen won the toss and bowled first. They held Ireland to 157 all out, but stumbled to 105/5 in 14.3 overs in the chase. Since England were behind on the DLS target, Ireland were declared winners.
Bowling first, England got off to a good start as Paul Stirling (14) was caught at deep third man, trying to take on Mark Wood. Ireland skipper Andy Balbirnie (62 off 47) and Lorcan Tucker (34 off 27), however, added 82 runs for the second to put the batting side ahead.
The partnership ended in unlucky fashion as Tucker was run-out while backing up at the non-striker’s end. Balbirnie punched the last ball of the 12th over from Adil Rashid back to the bowler. The ball hit his finger-tips before dislodging the stumps with Tucker out of his crease.
Following the keeper-batter’s dismissal, Ireland lost control of proceedings and crumbled to 157 all out. Counting Tucker’s scalp, they lost nine wickets for 54 runs. Harry Tector (0) and Curtis Campher (18) found Wood’s pace too hot to handle, while Liam Livingstone chipped in by dismissing Balbirnie and George Dockrell (0) off consecutive deliveries.
Livingstone picked up a third when Mark Adair (4) was caught at deep midwicket. Sam Curran then cleaned up Barry McCarthy (3) and Fionn Hand (1) in the penultimate over. Ben Stokes brought Ireland’s innings to a close, having Josh Little (0) caught behind.
England would have been confident of chasing down the target. But their batting, which faltered against Afghanistan, failed against Ireland as well. Little took out both England captain Jos Buttler (0) and his opening partner Alex Hales (7). Hand, who was brought in for Simi Singh, then produced an absolute beauty to knock over Stokes. England were in the doldrums at 29/3.
The wickets kept tumbling for England as Harry Brook (18) was caught at deep midwicket off Dockrell, while Dawid Malan (35) top-edged a short ball from McCarthy.
With every wicket, England fell behind the DLS target. Moeen Ali (24* off 12) lifted the chasing side’s hopes, slamming three fours and a six in quick time. But this was destined to be Ireland’s day.
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Skipper Balbirnie rose to the occasion for Ireland. His defiant half-century, which included five fours and two sixes, ensured the Irish team posted a competitive score.
Keeper-batter Tucker contributed a crucial 34 and also took the catch to dismiss England captain Buttler. With the ball, Little made a big impact, sending back the English openers in his opening spell.
For England, Wood impressed with his pace and was rewarded with three wickets. Livingstone, the underrated bowler, also came to the fore, claiming 3/17. Left-arm seamer Curran chipped in with two scalps. In the chase, Malan briefly gave England hope with 35, while Moeen played a nice cameo.
Ireland captain Balbirnie was picked as Player of the Match for standing tall in a contest dominated by bowlers from either side.
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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert