T20 World Cup 2022, Match 20: England vs Ireland

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Ireland stunned England by five runs via DLS method in their all-important ICC T20 World Cup 2022 Super 12 encounter at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday, October 26. While the rain had the final say in deciding the winner, England were very poor on the day and the Irish team ouplayed them in all departments of the game.

Batting first, Ireland lost the key wicket of Paul Stirling early and at that point in time it appeared as if their batting might crumble under pressure, but that was not to be as the duo of skipper Andrew Balbirnie and Lorcan Tucker added 82-runs for the second wicket stand. Balbirnie scored 62 runs off 47 balls while Tucker contributed with a 27-ball 34 as the Irish side posted a competitve total of 157.

In reply, the Three Lions were totally clueless right from the beginning of their chase and quick wickets completely derailed their momentum. The seasoned middle-order duo of Dawid Malan and Moeen Ali tried their level best to keep the fight going, but by the time Ali got set, rain gods intervened and England were short of the DLS par score which meant that Ireland took the win and those two valuable points.

Skipper Andrew Balbirnie makes it matters in a crucial game

Ireland skipper Andrew Balbirnie showcased a fearless intent with the bat as he roared back to form with an outsanding half-century in what was a must-win game for the Irish side post their humiliating nine-wicket loss to Sri Lanka a few days ago. Balbirnie scored 62 runs from 47 balls at a strike rate of 131.9 and his knock inlcuded five fours and two sixes. 

England’s fame batting order suffers a collective failure

A target of 158 was never going to be an intimidating one for the famed English batting line-up who have been on a roll in Australian conditions for nearly a month. However, they were off-colored on the given day and the likes of skipper Jos Buttler, power-hitter Alex Hales, Ben Stokes, Harry Brook failed to score big runs against their name. Dawid Malan might have scored 35 runs, but it was a painstaking one that came off 37 deliveries. In the end, the entire responsibilty was on the shoulders of Moeen Ali.

Winning skipper and Player of the Match, Andrew Balbirnie said:

We were slightly disappointed with the way we finished, we lost 7 wickets for not a lot and they took the momentum away from us. Our message was to just create chances and we know how this England team like to play, if we take every chance then we would be in with a shot. It was tough, they (England) have some express pace and different variations, we rode our luck, took a few blows and moved forward. The platform was pretty well laid and Tucker played well. It is amazing and kind of emotional. We haven’t played a game here, to come and play the tournament favorites, with so many big names and to put on a show is very satisfying. We had a great week in Hobart and to do this was at one of the biggest grounds is pretty special. A few (supporters) of them extended their trip, they are so passionate about the game and we are trying to make the sport big in Ireland. Quite a quick turn around but we have the momentum and will try to make the most of it.”

Losing skipper, Jos Buttler said:

Specially in the first 10 overs with the ball. I thought we were poor and allowed Ireland to get away. We were not consistent enough, let them score on both sides, there were some favourable conditions for bowling, we had everything in our favour; winning the toss and electing to field knowing the weather, we didn’t take advantage of that. The second 10 overs were much better, we let Ireland get 20-30 runs too many in the first 10 and were under pressure to restrict them. They showed us how to bowl on that wicket. Myself getting out in the first over, that’s never ideal and we never managed to grab the initiative. They bowled well and used the wicket well. It (the rain) was going to get heavier and heavier wasn’t it, but again as I said we won the toss and chose to bowl with the advantage of knowing what to do with the bat. They outplayed us in all three facets of the game and the better team won. We know we have made a mistake here and have put more pressure on us, but certainly if you needed a game to get going then England-Australia is one of those.”

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