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Archer grabs first England wicket as bowlers shine against Ireland

The hosts were dismissed for 198 in Malahide.

Jofra Archer claimed his first international wicket with a superb yorker (Liam McBurney/PA)
Jofra Archer claimed his first international wicket with a superb yorker (Liam McBurney/PA)

Jofra Archer opened his international account in style as England dismissed Ireland for 198 in Malahide, with seven wickets between Liam Plunkett and Tom Curran underlining the strength of the existing attack.

After a three-year qualification period, and several months of fevered speculation, the Barbados-born paceman finally made his debut and marked the occasion with an explosive 90mph yorker that sent Mark Adair’s off stump cartwheeling.

That was the highlight of an eight-over stint that yielded modest figures of one for 40, but a tantalising second spell did his prospects of gatecrashing the World Cup squad no harm at all.

Jofra Archer struggled in his first spell (Liam McBurney/PA)

Surrey pair Plunkett and Curran are two of those who could come under threat but made compelling cases of their own, the former taking four for 35 and the latter chipping in with three wickets.

A two-hour delay caused by a damp outfield delayed Archer’s first taste of action and when it belatedly came, Paul Stirling punctured the moment by defiantly punching his opening delivery for four through point.

Archer managed a couple of successes, beating the outside edge with one that straightened off the pitch and nudging the speed gun to 90mph, but lost his head-to-head with Stirling.

He conceded three more boundaries to the Middlesex man, including a flap past fine leg as he advanced down the pitch. That left the seamer rolling his eyes and his maiden spell wrapped up with figures of 4-0-21-0.

He did not have long to wait to be involved in his first dismissal, though, Curran drawing a mis-hit from Stirling leaving Archer to stoop forward for a well-taken low catch.

After quickly checking the replays England, and Archer, were off and running. Ireland, on the the other hand, were about to stumble from 55 without loss to 77 for four.

England’s bowlers dominated proceedings (Liam McBurney/PA)

Plunkett, whose form has been patchy of late, reasserted his knack of making things happen in the middle overs, Porterfield held down the leg side and Lorcan Tucker picking out short cover. Curran added a second of his own when Joe Denly held Kevin O’Brien expertly at backward point.

Gary Wilson’s 100th cap fell flat, guiding Adil Rashid’s googly to slip for eight, and Andrew Balbirnie found himself outfoxed by Ben Foakes.

The debutant wicketkeeper took an innocuous Joe Denly delivery down leg, hanging on a fraction longer than normal with the batsman down sweeping. Balbirnie’s foot eventually lifted an inch off the ground and Foakes immediately pounced, claiming a stumping that sat somewhere between opportunistic and mischievous.

Adair hinted at a fightback, not least when launching Curran for two towering sixes, but he ultimately became part of Archer’s story instead. Eight balls into his second stint, the paceman went full and fast, uprooting the off stump in style.

Plunkett and Curran returned to wrap things up, taking out a bullish but outmatched tail 11 balls ahead of time.



From Belfast Telegraph