England v Ireland: Hosts win first one-day international in Bristol

First one-day international, Bristol
Ireland 126 (33 overs): Balbirnie 30, Rashid 5-27, Root 2-9
England 127-3 (20 overs): Hales 55, Root 49*
England won by seven wickets
Scorecard

England began their Champions Trophy preparations with an emphatic seven-wicket one-day win in their first home international match against Ireland.

The tourists fell apart after a good start, losing their last eight wickets for 45 as Adil Rashid's 5-27 helped dismiss them for 126.

England's reply began badly as Jason Roy was caught without scoring.

But a typically brutal 55 from Alex Hales and an unbeaten 49 from Joe Root saw England home with 30 overs left.

The second and final ODI of the series is at Lord's on Sunday at 11:00 BST.

England, who have never won a major 50-over competition, are likely to start June's Champions Trophy on home soil with the unfamiliar status of favourites following their rapid improvement in the format since the 2015 World Cup.

Most of the praise for Eoin Morgan's side has focused on their brutal scoring, but it was their ruthlessness with the ball that brought them victory here.

On a benign track at a windy Bristol, it initially appeared to have been a good toss for Ireland to win, as the aggressive Paul Stirling and efficient Ed Joyce added a quick-fire 40 for the opening wicket.

But England, without IPL trio Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler, halted their progress with the dismissal of both openers in quick succession. Mark Wood, playing his first ODI since September after ankle surgery, bowled Stirling before David Willey trapped Joyce lbw.

From that platform, the home side spun the game decisively in their favour, with Rashid the star turn.

That was his first five-for in ODIs and the second-best figures by an English spinner in the format, behind only the 5-20 taken by Vic Marks against New Zealand in Wellington in 1984.

Combining superbly with fellow Yorkshire player and spinner Root (2-9), Rashid demonstrated control and variation to bamboozle Ireland, who lost their last eight wickets for just 45 runs.

Best ODI figures by England spinners
Adil Rashid's figures are the 11th best in an ODI by any England bowler

How the last eight wickets fell

  • 81-3 - Andrew Balbirnie is caught behind by Sam Billings off Jake Ball
  • 90-4 - Out-of-nick Ireland captain William Porterfield's innings of 13 runs from 45 balls ends as he lofts a catch to Liam Plunkett at mid-off off Root
  • 93-5 - Gary Wilson is trapped lbw by a sliding delivery to become Rashid's first victim
  • 104-6 - Kevin O'Brien is also out lbw as he is undone by a Rashid googly
  • 108-7 - Rashid makes it two wickets in the 27th over by bowling Stuart Thompson
  • 109-8 - George Dockrell goes without scoring, lbw to Root
  • 121-9 - Niall O'Brien makes it a hat-trick of lbws for Rashid
  • 126-10 - Tim Murtagh - the only one of Ireland's last six to reach double figures - picks out Hales at long-on to give Rashid his five-for

Ageing Ireland outclassed

Alex Hales
Alex Hales' 55 came from only 39 balls

The greatest moment in Ireland's cricket history came at the expense of England in the group stages at the 2011 World Cup, when Kevin O'Brien's heroics helped them knock off 327 with five balls to spare.

Off the pitch, Irish cricket has improved significantly in the past six years - as they continue their pursuit of Test status - but on the pitch they remain reliant on the players who helped them achieve that victory in Bangalore.

Seven of the team that played in that win - including the same top six - also featured at Bristol, serving as a reminder of how far they have to go before they can graduate from an associate nation.

They had their moments - most notably Stirling's early blitz and the bowling of Peter Chase, who took all three of the England wickets to fall.

But they were ultimately outclassed by an England side who are a very different animal to two years ago, let alone six.

The chase was a formality, taking on the feel of a practice match at times, with Hales nonchalantly striking 10 fours during an innings that was ended by a catch from Porterfield, and Root cruising during his unbeaten 49.

Morgan will have been disappointed to score just 10 against his native country before he was caught by Kevin O'Brien, but will be pleased with his side's display.

Rashid on top of his game - what they said...

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Ireland

England captain Eoin Morgan, speaking on Test Match Special: "Putting in a clinical performance is as good as we can ask for as a side. It shows how ruthless we need to be going forward."

Asked if Rashid's bowling was the best he has produced, Morgan said: "Yes. He had a tough winter with some quality opposition and to come back from that to show calmness and composure, all credit to him."

On Mark Wood: "Any first game back it's important to just get some overs under your belt. It's important to get some momentum building towards the Champions Trophy."

Ireland captain William Porterfield, speaking on Sky Sports: "It wasn't the seamers that damaged us, it was the spin. We could have played that a lot better.

"When it comes to this stage, when games come thick and fast, it's more mentally that anything. You have to put yourself back on track mentally.

"Mark Wood is a quality bowler. From their point of view it's good to have those lads back fit.

"We've had a lot of support here today and there'll be that again at Lord's - we've got to put a performance in for them more than anything."

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