Morgan steers England past Irish
Morgan was named man of the match for his 59 as England posted 201 in 42 overs, but Jade Dernbach’s three wickets were equally important in restricting Ireland to 117 for eight in the 23 overs the weather allowed, the hosts losing by 11 on Duckworth/Lewis.
On his first experience captaining England, Morgan had the additional responsibility of keeping on top of the D/L calculations. And he said: “It was like being back at school to be honest. But I really enjoyed it.
“It was a good challenge for us and an entertaining game. I really enjoyed the role.
“It was a good day for us, a challenging day with the weather that was around. Coming on and off the field tested us a bit.
“The guys held their nerve at the end and did well.”
England had three debutants in their ranks yesterday, and while none of Scott Borthwick, Ben Stokes or James Taylor was able to make an impact on the game, Morgan still expects big things from them.
“The guys held their nerve,” he said. “It wasn’t a day when they got a massive opportunity but they’re ones to look at in the future.”
On his own reception coming back to his native Ireland, he added: “Everybody here’s very hospitable. Today I got a great welcome, so thank you.”
Ireland captain William Porterfield refused to blame the weather for his side’s defeat.
The recalculations ultimately left them chasing 87 off 60 balls following a stoppage which interrupted their innings.
He said: “It’s swings and roundabouts. It probably worked for us a bit, worked for them a bit throughout the day. We thought maybe 87 was a bit much at the end there off the ten overs but that’s the way it goes.”
He added: “It was a bit frustrating coming on and off for rain. Bit disappointing in the end. We gave it a crack, that’s all we could do. At half-time we were pretty happy but unfortunately the rain came again.”
In the England innings Jonathan Trott (69) and Morgan did the bulk of the batting work, while Ireland’s chances of getting over the line suffered an irreparable blow when Jade Dernbach yorked Kevin O’Brien – the man whose 63-ball 113 stunned England in the World Cup.
Starting the chase Paul Stirling hit one big 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 with William Porterfield and Niall O’Brien at the crease and Ireland on 42 for two.
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.
Porterfield’s was run out, bringing O’Brien to the crease and he heaved his third and fourth balls over the ropes, seeing leg spinner Borthwick out of the attack after an over and delighting the home fans.
His brother Niall fell looking for a six of his own, 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, taking Ireland’s hopes with it.
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.