Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 30 October 2014

England edge Clontarf clash

Steven Finn

England's new-look one-day international side survived a nervy batting display and a dangerous cameo from their Bangalore conqueror Kevin O'Brien to beat Ireland by 11 runs in the RSA Challenge at Clontarf.

Their trio of debutants had a tough introduction to international cricket, James Taylor and Ben Stokes making four between them and Scott Borthwick on the receiving end of two big sixes from O'Brien.

But, having made 201 for eight in 42 overs, Eoin Morgan's side successfully defended a rain-revised Duckworth-Lewis target of 129 in 23 overs.

Jonathan Trott (69) and first-time captain Morgan (59) did the bulk of the batting work, while Ireland's chances of getting over the line suffered an irreparable blow when Jade Dernbach yorked O'Brien - the man whose 63-ball 113 stunned England in the World Cup.

Starting the chase Paul Stirling hit one fearful six over cover but fell two balls later attempting a second big blow off Steven Finn.

Ed Joyce, who won 17 ODI caps for England before recommitting to Ireland, became Finn's second victim when Craig Kieswetter took a thin edge behind the stumps.

The rain came after 13 overs of the reply, William Porterfield and Niall O'Brien the men at the crease. That left Ireland on 42 for two but the stubborn showers threatened to frustrate both teams. The statisticians busily calculated and recalculated the Duckworth-Lewis target as the rain stopped and started, eventually settling on an equation of 87 off the remaining 60 balls.

Durham leg-spinner Borthwick was handed his first over for England after the restart, though he can claim little credit for Porterfield's lazy run out off his second delivery.

Niall O'Brien fell looking for a six, pulling Dernbach to Finn at square leg, with Nigel Jones lasting four balls before being bowled by a Ravi Bopara slower ball.

Kevin O'Brien made 26 from 15 balls before a fine Dernbach yorker clattered leg stump and from then on Ireland found the odd boundary but lost John Mooney (15) and Gary Wilson (13) to the cause to finish 117 for eight.

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