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England held up by rain and Ireland

England's much-changed one-day side stuttered under pressure as Ireland restricted them to 202 for eight in the first innings of the RSA Challenge at Clontarf.

Despite losing to the Irish in the World Cup in March, England opted to make a host of changes for this match and included three debutants in a side captained by Dubliner Eoin Morgan for the first time.

New boys James Taylor and Ben Stokes made just four between them as England failed to capitalise on a century stand between Morgan (59) and Jonathan Trott (69). Each innings was reduced to 42 overs after a rain delay, with Ireland's target of 202 decided by Duckworth-Lewis.

Craig Kieswetter got things going with a six off Boyd Rankin, albeit an unintentional one that took the top edge and sailed high over the wicketkeeper. His luck evaporated in the next over, though, when John Mooney located the edge and Niall O'Brien took a smart low catch to see him off for 14.

The highly-rated Taylor was in at three, getting his first international run with a risky single that put Trott under pressure from Kevin O'Brien's direct hit. Taylor did not add to that before Rankin hurried him for pace and had him caught at mid-wicket from a mis-timed pull.

Morgan was welcomed warmly by his one-time home crowd but had no time to make an impression before the rain intervened at 38 for two and forced the reduction in overs.

When play resumed, Morgan and Trott combined with a partnership worth 102 before the former was dismissed by Paul Stirling.

Ravi Bopara, one of the senior figures in this much-changed squad, edged his fourth ball behind to give Nigel Jones a wicket, and with 10 overs remaining that double strike left England at 139 for four. Stokes then made just three before becoming Stirling's second caught-and-bowled victim, this time offering a much simpler chance.

With the batting powerplay enforced in the 38th over, England were hoping to regain the initiative but instead saw Samit Patel join the procession. He made a brisk 13 before lifting Nigel Jones to Kevin O'Brien at long-off.

After watching each of them come and go from the non-striker's end, Trott's 105-ball stay eventually ended when his uncharacteristic heave found Jones in the deep off the returning Mooney. Chris Woakes (19no) and Scott Borthwick (15) rallied in the closing overs to see the visitors past 200.


From Belfast Telegraph