Associate cricketing nation Ireland have embarrassed England this afternoon, winning by three wickets chasing the required 328 to win, with five balls to spare, largely thanks to Kevin O’Brien’s 113 off of 63 balls, including 13 fours and 6 sixes, giving him the fastest century in World Cup history.
England began the game strongly, with England’s captain and hero from Sunday, Strauss and Kevin Pietersen getting them off to a flying start with a 91 run partnership, before Strauss was removed for 34. Pietersen fell for 59 when the score was at 111, leaving the Warwickshire pairing of Johnathan Trott and Ian Bell at the crease.
The pair recorded a huge partnership of 167 for the third wicket, with Trott scoring 92 from as many balls. The partnership was broken when Bell fell to Mooney for 81. As Bell left, the collapse began, With England losing 6 wickets in the final 7 overs. Setting Ireland, what seemed like, an impossible target of 328 to win.
The Irish innings couldn’t have had a worse start, when Captain and opening batsman William Porterfield was bowled by Jimmy Anderson from the first ball of the innings. The game seemed dead in the water as Ireland slumped to 111 for 5 when Wilson was removed in the 25th over.
Up step Kevin O’Brien… the power hitting Irish all-rounder, partnered with Cusack (47) put on a 160 run partnership in no time at all, swinging the advantage in Ireland’s favour. This left the English attack with extremely embarrassing figures, particularly the returning Stuart Broad, who conceded 73 runs from his 9 overs, taking no wickets.
Cusack was run out as the score reached 273, leaving Ireland’s bowling star Mooney at the crease with the centurion O’Brien. Mooney scored a fantastic 34 from 30 balls including six boundaries (one of which won the match). Unfortunately for O’Brien, he was run-out by Tim Bresnan in the penultimate over, not seeing his side home. Trent Johnston replaced him as helped guide his side home with five balls to spare.
This is a fantastic win for the Irish and is extremely well deserved… but once again we have witnessed a lack-luster bowling performance from England, after the batsman have set a big total. Poor performances from Broad, Yardy and ,even England’s hero against India, Bresnan were extremely poor and their figures reflect that. Only Graeme Swann (3-47) has some respectability with his figures.
How can England move on from here? How can they pick themselves up from this defeat to a minnow and then challenge the likes of South Africa in Chennai on Sunday?
The signs of this defeat have been coming… smashed 6-1 in Australia and scraping through against the Netherlands in the opening game, I can’t say im truly shocked.
Fair play to the Irish, congratulations on the victory… from the looks of things, we might be battling it out with you for that last place in the quarter finals…