T20 World Cup’22, IRE vs ENG: IRE stuns with a 5 run win!


Sinchan Saha

Modified Oct 26, 2022 3:29 PM IST

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T20 World Cup’22, IRE vs ENG: Ireland 157 (Balbirnie 62, Wood 3-34, Livingstone 3-17) beat England 105 for 5 in 14.3 overs (Malan 35, Little 2-16) by five runs on DLS method

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With bat and ball both sides of a collapse of 7 for 25, Ireland dominated the powerplay to defeat England at the MCG and add another glorious chapter to Irish sports history. Ireland found new heroes on a rainy afternoon in Melbourne to stun a more favoured England team once again at a World Cup eleven years after Kevin O’Brien led Ireland to a memorable victory in Bengaluru.

With the new ball, Josh Little posed a threat to England, utilising the MCG pitch’s sharp movement and bounce. The left-arm quick knocked out Alex Hales after first nicking off Jos Buttler. In his third T20I, Fionn Hand broke through Ben Stokes’ defences to leave England 29 for 3 in the sixth over in their pursuit of 158. With his quick darts, leg spinner Gareth Delany increased England’s asking rate even more.

England were five runs behind on DLS when rain fell once more, despite Moeen Ali’s threat of a late fightback, highlighted by a straight six in the 15th over. Soon after, the rain got heavier, and the game ended at 6.50 p.m. with Ireland’s players celebrating a significant victory with their fans and loved ones in the rain.


Balbirnie, Tucker make merry

Paul Stirling and Andy Balbirnie, as they have frequently done in recent times, dashed out of the blocks after rain played hide-and-seek earlier in the afternoon as well.

Sam Curran’s attempt to scoop it back in was unsuccessful after Stirling smeared Chris Woakes over extra cover and then spliced Mark Wood’s first ball over the third-man boundary. Stirling attempted to repeat the shot after two balls, but Wood cranked it up to 150 kilometres per hour, tucked him in, and had him splice it straight to Curran.

On a spicy pitch, Lorcan Tucker, who typically plays well against spin, demonstrated that he could cut it against the pace and bounce of Wood and Woakes. Ireland moved up to 59 for 1 in six overs with a punchy six by Tucker to end the powerplay. Curran was the pitcher.

When Balbirnie lined up Woakes for two fours and a six in the tenth over, he increased the tempo. At one point, he was on 25 off 24 balls. Buttler was forced to use Liam Livingstone’s all-sorts spin as the seamers were leaking runs.

Wood’s extra pace, Livingstone’s lack of pace

England broke the 82-run second-wicket partnership when Adil Rashid deflected a straight drive from Balbirnie back onto the stumps at his end in his follow through to catch Tucker short for 34 off 27 balls after Livingstone gave up just five runs in his first over.

In the subsequent over, Wood returned to the attack and used a 153 kph thunderbolt to trap Harry Tector. Curtis Campher and Delany were both knocked off their helmets as Wood continued to bowl at speeds in the 150 kph range.

Livingstone mixed up his pace well and made it difficult for Ireland’s batters to score big runs at the MCG. In the 16th over, he caught Balbirnie at deep square leg and caught George Dockrell with the next ball, causing a complete collapse. Ireland went from 132 for 3 in the 16th over to 157 all out, with four balls remaining in their innings.

Little’s big moment

By defeating Buttler for a duck, Little gave Ireland’s defence a grand start. He and Adair bowled much more full than England’s seamers did earlier in the day with the new ball. Little dug one into the pitch and drew a top-edged pull to short fine leg for 7, testing Hales with the fuller length as well. With the tactful use of angles and length variations, he went on to handcuff Malan.

Little has stepped up on the big stage against England and is the new face of Ireland’s attack. He has played franchise cricket for the Hundred (Manchester Originals), the Lanka Premier League (Dambulla Giants), and even the Indian Premier League (IPL) as a net bowler.

Before McCarthy had him miscue a pull, Malan struggled to 35 off 37 balls.Before Brook also holed out, failing to clear the boundary, Delany scored just five runs off nine balls.

At the beginning of the eleventh over, Ireland were unruly in the field, taking two catches off two balls, but their bowling was flawless. When Moeen hit three fours and a six in seven (legal) balls, he was on to something, but it wasn’t enough to put England ahead when the rain came back.

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Before rain wiped out the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean in 2010, Ireland had given England a scare.This time, Ireland could not be denied.