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Eng v Ire

Ireland's batting in focus going into second ODI

ENG v IRE, 2nd ODI, preview

After a remarkable opening spell from David Willey, Ireland were reduced to 28/5 in the first game. Their top order will need to step up if they are to pose England a challenge in the next match.

Overview
England v Ireland, 2nd ODI
The Ageas Bowl, Southampton
Thursday, 1 August, 2 pm local time

In 18 ODIs Ireland have played since the start of January 2019, Ireland's top six have averaged a modest 29 runs. By contrast, England have averaged 49.25 in that same period.

Having lost the first ODI by a big margin, mainly because of a lacklustre batting performance, that is the statistic Ireland will be most keen on correcting. Experienced members such as Paul Stirling, Andy Balbirnie and Kevin O'Brien will do well to take the lead in that department.ย 

While England didn't enjoy a particularly special performance by the men in the top order either, they will be keen to brush that off as an aberration. Moreover, they will be pleased about how Sam Billings stood up to the challenge. Their bowling, even in the absence of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood, looked well-rounded.

Remember the last time

Willey produced a stunning opening spell, as he ate into the Ireland top order with four wickets in his first spell. At 28/5 things looked especially dire for the visitors, but debutant Curtis Campher, batting at No.7, led the resurgence with a solid 59* from 118 balls, helping Ireland to a respectable 172. Andy McBrine did his bit with a fluent 40 from No.9. Willey returned to claim the final wicket of Craig Young to secure a well-deserved five-for.

Faced with chasing a small target, England seemed keen to assert their dominance, but that aggressive approach provided wicket-taking opportunities for Ireland and they reduced the hosts to 78/4 with fast bowler Craig Young striking two blows. But Billings and Eoin Morgan adopted a slightly more calculated approach to see England over the line with six wickets and 22.1 overs to spare.

What they said

David Willey, England fast bowler: "It's an unbelievable squad. You look at the players that still aren't getting a look-in and the guys that went home from this camp: there are some brilliant cricketers sat on the sidelines that are still trying to find a way in."

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