Jacks, Hain and Rehan star as England go 1-0 up

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Rehan picked up a four-fer to trouble Ireland's middle-order.
Rehan picked up a four-fer to trouble Ireland's middle-order. © AFP

England registered a largely comfortable 48-run win over Ireland in the second ODI at Trent Bridge, Nottingham on Saturday (September 23). Young leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed registered his career-best ODI figures of 4-54 to derail Ireland's chase and although the visitors added 129 runs for their last three wickets, the result was never in doubt. Earlier in the day, Will Jacks had also got to his highest individual score in ODIs while Sam Hain kickstarted his 50-over career with a fluent 89.

Chasing a competitive target of 335, Ireland started with a bang, much like their opponents in the first half of the game. George Scrimshaw, one of England's four debutants, had a horror beginning due to a flurry of no-balls that allowed Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie to make a brisk start. Boundaries came aplenty, some even off those no-ball and the Free Hits were also duly dispatched. Before England could get a grip of things, Ireland were racing towards 50 well inside four overs.

To his credit, Scrimshaw bounced back and broke the opening partnership with a ripper. He had Balbirnie caught at slip with a lovely delivery and Matthew Potts struck on the first ball of the next over to castle Stirling. These strikes halted Ireland's momentum briefly but Harry Tector kept the scoreboard ticking with his brand of fluid strokeplay. Unfortunately for the visitors, they kept losing wickets at regular intervals despite having a healthy run rate in the chase. The introduction of Rehan then changed the complexion of the game drastically.

In his brief career so far, Rehan has shown the knack to bowl genuine wicket-taking deliveries and while the consistency is a work in progress, he has managed to trouble the best of batters across the various white-ball formats. Ireland had no clue about dealing with his potent googly and fell like a pack of cards to his guile. His spin partner Tom Hartley went wicketless but the left-arm spinner also bowled a tidy spell to put in the squeeze on the tourists. From 103-3, Ireland found themselves on the brink at 157/7.

Statistically, the equation still was gettable with the Trent Bridge surface staying good for the entirety of the game. But the lack of wickets meant that it needed a miracle for England to be beaten. George Dockrell, who had earlier enjoyed a good outing with the ball, led the resistance along with the no. 8-11 as the tourists kept chipping away at the target. England's inexperienced bowling attack struggled to close out the game earlier and barring Brydon Carse, the seamers were quite inconsistent in their spells. Eventually, the scoreboard pressure and the lack of planning from Ireland's batters let them off the hook.

Earlier in the day, England's gen-next batting line-up ended with a strong score but given the platform and surface, they left about 25-30 runs out there. Phil Salt and Ben Duckett were guilty of throwing away their starts but Jacks and Hain ensured that they batted deeper into their respective innings. Duckett and Carse provided the ideal supporting knocks needed to push the score past the 330-run mark. Ireland were indisciplined with the new ball and leaked plenty of runs in the first PowerPlay but came back well thereafter.

Dockrell along with Craig Young were the pick of the bowlers and the latter's twin strikes in his first spell was what allowed Ireland to claw their way back into the game. The visitors kept taking wickets at regular intervals and barring the first 10 overs, generally found the right lengths to ensure that England never ran away with the game completely. The good length deliveries weren't as easy to hit but as is the case with Trent Bridge, the margin for error is also very small for the pacers. Ireland did well to keep England to 334 but in the end, that proved more than enough for the World Champions as they took an unassailable 1-0 lead in the three-match series with a game to spare.

Brief scores: England 334-8 in 50 overs (Will Jacks 94, Sam Hain 89; George Dockrell 3-43, Craig Young 2-38) beat Ireland 286 in 46.4 overs (George Dockrell 43, Barry McCarthy 41; Rehan Ahmed 4-54, George Scrimhaw 3-66) by 48 runs




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