England vs. Ireland, 1st ODI

There was always likely to be a cruel inevitability about the result of today’s game and unfortunately this reigned true in Bristol today. It has been almost two years since the teams last met in wet and windy Malahide, with whispers abound about the fate of then England coach Peter Moores after a disastrous World Cup and a ‘mediocre’ performance in the West Indies. Moores as we know was indeed sacked and England’s fortunes in white ball cricket have improved immensely since.

So then, we come onto the game with what on paper looked like a bit of a mismatch. On the one hand England’s white ball stock has never been higher, on the other hand Ireland seem to be on the way down with some of their more experienced players getting a bit long in the tooth and the new arrivals not living up to previous expectations. That the first major series between England and Ireland on English soil should take place when there is such a disparity between the teams is at best unfortunate. The Irish, so long the brave underdog with sides from the recent past, folded without so much of a whimper and thus this may do their aspirations of playing the full member side more often some significant damage. It certainly could be used by the ECB to justify England’s rather snotty approach of playing their second string for a one off match each summer moving forward.

As for the game itself, Ireland surprised most people by opting to bat first, especially as the make up of the team suggested they would be more effective chasing rather than setting a score and for the first few overs, it looked like this ploy could indeed be effective. This was aided and abetted by a few poor overs at the start from both Willey and Wood (though the latter soon began to find his rhythm and more importantly his pace) and from some aggressive striking from Sterling. However after both their openers departed and with Balbirnie also dismissed for a breezy 30, Ireland contrived to collapse from 80-2 to 126 all out, a feat that some past English teams would have been proud of. Ironically enough it was the spinners that ripped out the spine of the Irish middle and lower orders, Rashid bowled quite fantastically with the Irish simply unable to pick his variations and Joe Root also cemented his reputation of having a ‘lucky arm’. Naturally Nasser and chums weren’t as fulsome in their praise of Rashid as others might have been as Rashid is now described as a confidence bowler when he does well and fragile when he doesn’t, the poor guy simply can’t win, an outsider one may say.

With Ireland bowled out well before the Lunch interval, England has 18 or so over to chase the Irish total before the scheduled break. Indeed it appeared at one stage that we were going to get the farcical situation where they would take lunch with England needing 10 or so to win the game. Thankfully for once the umpires saw sense and extended the session by another 15 minutes for England to chase down the Irish score. Cricket has done enough of shooting itself in the foot recently, so it was refreshing that common sense finally prevailed. As for the England innings itself, Roy appeared to think that he was still at the IPL and ended up flicking a ball down the throat of midwicket for a duck, Hales played some good shots whilst being dropped twice in putting on a fairly fluent if sketchy half century and Joe Root did what Joe Root always does and made batting on a slightly tricky wicket look embarrassingly easy.

I would suggest that neither team got much out of this encounter sadly and we can all but hope that Ireland show more grit and application at Lords to make this a contest; otherwise it could be another early finish at the Home of Cricket. This would be firstly be a wasted opportunity for an Irish team looking to gain positive exposure on the world stage and secondly for the Lords members, who wouldn’t have time to gorge on their expensive hampers. Will someone please think of the Members!!

As ever, please add any thoughts below and have a good weekend one and all.


23 thoughts on “England vs. Ireland, 1st ODI

  1. LordCanisLupus May 5, 2017 / 6:39 pm

    I watched about 75% of the game, and it left me worried for the future. As if I need any more things to worry about.

    England are going to take one look at that match and say “why bother with them” if this continues. It’s shameful it has taken this long not to give our neighbours an ODI or T20 in England already, To play Ireland now, when their team, as you say looks a bit long in the tooth, can be filed under “missed opportunity” along with all the rest. This needs to be a long-term commitment, maybe rotating the two or three game series each year between each host. We should also consider, seriously, some matches against Afghanistan, and wouldn’t it be terrific if they weren’t played in May?

    As for the game, totally nondescript. There was a collapse, there were five wickets for Adil Rashid, a couple of cheapies for Root, and a lot of pontificating in the Comm Box over Wood. Once again, Nas got on a subject and would not let it go. He’s getting to be a “Line to Take” commentator and makes the event fit the narrative, no matter what. So he may have had a point about Wood, but we still had the “confidence” nonsense about Adil, even though he’s not the only bowler who bowls better when he’s confident. There was a lot of nice words, and comfort from the Sky team during and after the game, and interesting to see Key and Tres getting commentating gigs for the match, but Sky will want to see England play more competitive, selected opposition in the future.

    Other points. I didn’t mind the kit anywhere near as much as I thought I would. Actually thought it quite good. Sorry.

    Then there were these….

    Welcome back, international summer cricket in the UK.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark May 5, 2017 / 7:48 pm

      I didn’t see any of the match, but did switch on in the late afternoon when Sky were filling in with talking heads. In fairness to Nasser he did say that England should have been playing Ireland 10 years ago or even 5 years ago. He said the Irish players needed to be playing when they were in their late 20s not their late 30s.

      The ECB will of course pretend that’s just the schedule. But the big 3 did seem to be able to create a situation where the better sides are kept away from playing until they lose form. For many years SA we’re number 1 yet there was no 5 test series. Then New Zealand became one of the best teams in the world, and we were told they could only have a mere 3 test series. And we all know how the likes of Ireland are treated.

      When the agenda is to not grow the game, then who gives a shit if interest withers and dies of non big 3 nations. More chance for series against India and Aus. KACHING!

      If I was being very cynical I might even speculate that the big 3 have used their finacial power off the field to destroy their rivals on the field.


    • Mark May 5, 2017 / 7:50 pm

      Oh, and I don’t like the pink on the kit.

      Or is called Salmon?


      • Mark May 5, 2017 / 9:46 pm

        Didn’t Middx start playing in a pink kit? And where is their home? Lords, MCC (Cough cough)

        I just see conspiracies everywhere these days.

        Sean’s point about Nat West is more likely……They are one of the sponsors, and pink is one of their colours. Perhaps teams will not just have to have the sponsors name anymore. They will have to be wearing the same corporate colours.

        Good luck if Orange is the sponsor. England will look like Ricki Fowler.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sean B May 5, 2017 / 10:28 pm

          Solar red Mark, get with the marketing experts 🙈


      • Benny May 5, 2017 / 11:30 pm

        Weird – I too thought the kit looked horrid in the photoshoot but fine today. Whatever, nothing is as horrendous as Lancashire’s fluorescent green. Heard Allott ribbed about it on TV and he admitted it is a sponsorship thing (of course).

        As far as England being bothered with Ireland fixtures, it looked a pretty full ground, which we know works for ECB.


      • SimonH May 6, 2017 / 10:01 am

        Newman describes it as “a disappointingly small crowd of 6,411”. Two things strike me about this – 1) it’s very rare for Newman or any MSM to quote a precise crowd figure or say anything much about the crowd. What’s going on here? I see agendas everywhere these days! 2) Some useful info that would set this figure in context is missing – what was the ground’s capacity yesterday and how much were tickets?

        Otherwise, Newman doesn’t exactly strain an enthusiam muscle over Rashid (“good spell…. mixed winter…. English conditions… few bad balls”) whereas his eulogising about Wood needs no such caveats. His dislike of players remaining at the IPL pokes through a couple of times.



    • Rooto May 6, 2017 / 4:23 am

      Hi all. Agree about the kit. Although it’s getting like football, and I was surprised to find that a change was ‘needed’. New kit making deal with a different company, and so a load more marketing cash, but the results are OK, for me, and at least more distinct from Sri Lanka and India’s colours.
      However, those tweet photos for the wicket videos look like a poor man’s Trainspotting poster.


    • d'Arthez May 6, 2017 / 10:28 am

      EnglandCricket could not even get its facts right. Adil had taken a 5-er before today in international cricket. But hey, why let facts get in the way of a tweet?

      (It was in the UAE, in his debut Test).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. SimonH May 6, 2017 / 10:08 am

    One of the sorts of thing that makes this England set-up difficult to warm to:


    I’m not asking for false modesty – but they might wait until they’ve won something or are regularly beating the top teams (once again, England are ranked fifth and have only once beaten one of the top four in an ODI series in the ‘new era’) before coming out with words like “petrified”.


      • Mark May 6, 2017 / 10:45 am

        I don’t think people understand how much nationalism is currently being stirred up in India at the moment by Modi. The country is very much in the mood of no compromise with anything or anybody. Of course there are much bigger issues than cricket, but this uncompromising attitude spills into every area of life including cricket.

        I would not be surprised to see a boycott. And even if it is averted trouble looms on the horizon. Perhaps a deal will be struck where India agree to come to England in exchange for the ICC backing down in a few months. How do you think Giles Clarke will vote on that?

        India will get what they want, because money talks. If they don’t, I can see them walking away.


      • SimonH May 6, 2017 / 1:56 pm

        A country with stoked-up nationalism and no mood for compromise?

        THank heavens we don’t live in one of those…..

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Mark May 6, 2017 / 10:37 am
  4. RufusSG May 6, 2017 / 11:02 am

    It would be ludicrous if Ireland’s promotion to test status was judged on these two games and denied on the basis that they might “devalue the format” by not being good enough. It’s a joke made several times already, but what’s the worst that could happen if they were promoted now? Get whitewashed in Australia? Lose five tests out of six in Asia?

    Therein lies the latent unfairness in cricket’s power structure that big teams face no repercussions for being consistently rubbish, whereas the Associates have to hope they’re in the right place at the right time to jump through all manner of hoops to even have a chance of being promoted. Again, I can think of a few teams that would have been looking over their shoulders if they faced the threat of no test cricket if they looked a bit “over the hill” as Ireland (unfortunately) are to a certain extent.

    Now there’s something that does genuinely make me cross. More test teams and a more varied schedule please!


    • LordCanisLupus May 6, 2017 / 11:46 am

      2nd April 2014
      24th April 2015
      27th April 2016

      Date of release of last three years annual accounts.

      2017. No sign. As yet.


    • Mark May 6, 2017 / 3:30 pm

      It really is a work of art to see these hypocrites eulogising Ben Stokes after all the venom they poured out against KP for wanting to do the same thing……… “Box office status.” Really? Wasnt that long ago that box office status was something to be frowned on.

      Johnson…..”T20 could actually end up saving test cricket.”


      How is it going to save Test cricket? How? We were told the same thing 15 years ago when it came in. Now it’s not just going to save Test cricket, but county cricket as well.

      Why do I have a horrible feeling “petrified” may turn out to be the new …….”make them grovel?”


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