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Billings Morgan

Willey five-for, Billings 67* lead England to six-wicket win

Eng v Ire, 1st ODI, report

David Willey took 5/30, his maiden ODI five-for, as Ireland were bowled out for 172, before Eoin Morgan and Sam Billings shared an unbroken 96-run partnership to see England to victory after early wickets.


Morgan won the toss and elected to put Ireland in to bat first. After just 13 balls of the innings, David Willey – playing an ODI for the first time since May 2019 – had struck twice to remove Paul Stirling and captain Andrew Balbirnie, caught by short mid-wicket and the keeper respectively.

Saqib Mahmood joined in on the action, drawing an inside edge on to the stumps from debutant Harry Tector. Gareth Delany looked good for his 22, but he became Willey's third victim just four balls after Tector's wicket before wicket-keeper Lorcan Tucker fell first ball to take Willey's tally to four.

With Ireland in the lurch at 28/5, stalwart Kevin O'Brien joined forces with Curtis Campher, making his international debut, to slow the game down. The pair batted together for just shy of 15 overs, adding 51 runs before O'Brien holed out to long-off from the bowling of Adil Rashid. Simi Singh lasted just four balls before running himself out as he was sent back from a suicidal single by Campher.

Campher found plenty of support from Andy McBrine however, and the pair began to tick along nicely. The debutant passed fifty shortly before McBrine was caught at deep square leg for 40 to end the 66-run partnership. Barry McCarthy added just three before Mahmood had him caught in the deep, before Willey returned to dismiss Craig Young to claim his five-for. Campher was left unbeaten with an impressive 59* from 118 balls as the visitors were bowled out for 172.

Ireland had early cause for concern as McCarthy had to leave the field with a knee injury just five balls into his opening over of the innings. But with off-spinner McBrine on to replace him, they soon had cause to celebrate as Bairstow was pinned in front to leave England 12/1.

Jason Roy threatened to take the game away, hitting McBrine for a six over mid-wicket, but he played the wrong line to a ball from Young and was also trapped leg-before. James Vince hit some sweetly timed boundaries before nicking off attempting an off drive to Young.

Tom Banton was the fourth, and as it turned out final, England wicket to fall, top edging a pull shot off Campher to give Tucker a simple high catch, capping off an excellent individual debut for the all-rounder. At 78/4, Ireland were in with a good chance of forcing a close finish, but Sam Billings and Eoin Morgan batted with the confidence which has marked England's white-ball game in recent years to make easy work of the remaining 95 runs.

Billings finished with a 54-ball 67*, his highest score in the format and third ODI fifty, while Morgan made an unbeaten 36.

The result sets England off to a winning start in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League, taking 10 points from the match. The second ODI begins at the same venue on Saturday 1 August.

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