Gloucestershire Cricket Stadium was the venue for the final game of the Three Lions before they caught a flight to India. The defending champions will face the arduous task of retaining their World Cup title and this was their last chance for experimentation. A young and energetic English side was facing the Irish who also have their own World Cup aspirations. England led the series 1-0 after their comfortable win at Trent Bridge in the second ODI.
Both sides made a solitary change to their respective elevens from the last game at Trent Bridge.
- Phil Salt 2. Will Jacks 3. Zak Crawley (Cap.) 4. Ben Duckett 5. Sam Hain 6. Jamie Smith (WK) 7. Brydon Carse 8. Rehan Ahmed 9. Tom Harley 10. Luke Wood 11. Matthew Potts
- Paul Stirling (Cap.) 2. Andrew Balbirnie 3. Curtis Campher 4. Harry Tector 5. Lorcan Tucker (WK) 6. George Dockrell 7. Mark Adair 8. Theo van Woerkom 9. Barry McCarthy 10. Craig Young 11. Joshua Little
Irish captain Paul Stirling won the toss and sent England to bat first.
Captaincy & Tactics
“Bazzball” has been a hotly debated topic in cricketing circles due to its aggressive nature in test cricket. But Brendon McCullum’s side made a clear statement about their preferred way of playing cricket. Paul Stirling’s bold decision of choosing to bowl first massively backfired.
The attack was relentless throughout the course of their innings and it can easily be assumed that the Irish drew a collective sigh of relief when the rain came to their rescue.
Ben Duckett has become a household name for English cricketing enthusiasts in the test arena. But ODI has been a format of woe for the London-born batter.
In his seven-year career, this is just the 8th time Duckett has donned the England blue. But the charismatic left-hander finally showed his class in the 50-over game. The first ton of his short career has elevated his average to 43.00.
Duckett exerted control in his 78-ball innings at an impressive percentage of 83. He played along the ground taking minimal risks. Cover drive was his most fruitful stroke with a couple of fours and a massive six.
Phil Salt would feel his innings came a bit too late as the explosive opener was left out of the squad for the World Cup. The right-hander played an action-packed innings of 61 from just 28 balls. His average of 44.14 while batting first is an indication of his comfort in setting a target. England raced to 50 within 3.3 overs.
Despite the condition being conducive to swing, the Irish bowlers could not find any momentum with their bowling. Young Dubliner Josh Little was the worst offender with 69 runs from just 5 overs.
Craig Young was a bright exception to a generally dismal bowling performance. The 33-year-old enjoyed bowling in English conditions, averaging 24.91 with 12 wickets from 6 matches.
The 33-year-old bowled Jack Crawley and bowled with intent to pick up three wickets for 31 runs. Left-arm spinner Theo van Woerkom had a debut to forget with 47 runs conceded from 4 overs. He definitely felt much better after getting his maiden wicket by dismissing the standing England captain Jack Crawley.
The destructive English batting made the Irish fielders look helpless. But Stirling’s side tried to stop the deluge of runs by fielding brilliantly on a tricky outfield. Craig Young took a good catch to dismiss Crawley. McCarthy and van Woerkom also clutched onto their chances.
Salt, Jacks, Crawley – the entire English top order scored runs without much toil. Salt scored the fourth-quickest ODI fifty for England, reaching the milestone in just 22 balls. The day belonged to Ben Duckett though for his brilliant century. He reached his maiden white ball ton in the 72nd delivery and looked to be well set for a huge score.
Irish bowlers were put to the sword apart from Craig Young. The medium pacer pitched the ball in the good length area on 73% of occasions and finished the day with three scalps to his name.
The match failed to deliver despite promising much in the early hours. This is the fourth consecutive game at Bristol that has been called off due to inclement weather.
The game was stopped at 2:58 pm local time due to heavy showers and the game got called off at 3:21 pm. The covers could not stop the water from getting to the outfield, so the umpires had an easy decision to make after the first inspection.
The match was abandoned due to rain yielding no result.
Player of the Match
The man of the match was not awarded for the abandonment of the match
|England Total:280/4 (31 overs)
|Ireland Total: 0/0 (0 overs)
|B. Duckett 107* (78)
|P Salt 61 (28)
|Z. Crawley 51 (42)
|C. Young 3/31
|T. van Woerkom 1/47
England looked to be on course towards record-smashing total but the weather put a halt to their endeavours. With the first ODI also being washed out, England won the bilateral series by a 1-0 margin. Both teams experimented with personnel and tactics with the World Cup looming on the horizon. The clock is ticking and we are just a week away from the eagerly anticipated 13th World Cup tournament.