- England started the World Cup Super League in style after winning their first two matches at a relative canter
- But having been asked to bat first in their final encounter, England failed to defend 328: a prominent score in Irish cricketing history
- Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow & Paul Stirling starred with the bat, while David Willey and Curtis Campher excelled with their all-round skills
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – Ireland saved their best for last as Morgan’s England started with a flourish, showed flashes of their world-best brilliance, but truly failed to get out of third gear as they won the series 2-1. How did Britwatch rate the action?
Signs of ring rust were evident for all to see in Southampton, as England’s ultra-aggressive style with the bat failed to click into place quite as seamlessly as normal, with the top order especially lacking the barrage of runs fans have become accustomed to in recent times. All credit must go to Ireland and captain Andy Balbirnie, who didn’t allow his side’s heads to drop and won a classic in the third and final ODI to collect their first 10 points in the Cricket World Cup Super League.
See below how each individual racked up throughout the series, and just what Britwatch thought of their performances.
Jason Roy – 2/10 Matches: 3, 25 runs at 8.33, SR 86.20 – Injured early upon entering the white-ball team’s bio-secure bubble, his one warm-up game pre-series resulted in a golden duck. His form didn’t improve much during the series. Serious signs of rustiness, but still world class on his day, sometimes Roy’s aggression just doesn’t pay off: he has been dismissed 15 times in the first over since the 2015 World Cup – the next worst is Martin Guptill with seven.
Jonny Bairstow – 7/10 Matches: 3, 88 runs at 29.33, SR 160.00 – Two low scores were sandwiched between a knock which showed why those around him rate him as the most destructive ODI batsman in world cricket. Disappointing both opener’s inconsistencies didn’t allow Vince to come to the crease in a strong position.
James Vince – 3/10 Matches: 3, 57 runs at 19.00, SR 87.69 – This should be the last time we see the 29-year-old in an England ODI shirt. With powerful youngsters like Phil Salt and more experienced campaigners such as Liam Livingstone waiting in line, how many more chances will the Hampshire man get? If he can’t do it on his home ground against Ireland in front of nobody, where will he do it?
Eoin Morgan – 8/10 Matches: 3, 142 runs at 71.00, SR 112.69 – Showed his class when, back in his natural position at no.4, scored a century before the 25th over. A shame he couldn’t go on and rack up a big score like Stirling in Ireland’s reply. Captained excellently, as always, and England missed his on-field influence in the third ODI when he felt tightness in his groin.
Tom Banton – 5/10 Matches: 3, 84 runs at 28.00, SR 93.33 – A very useful half-century in a losing cause during the final one-dayer, Banton still has many more chances to prove his undoubted talent. Still a lot to learn at this level, however. Curtis Campher had the wool over him a little bit.
Sam Billings – 9/10 Matches: 3, 132 runs at 132.00, SR 99.24 – The same age as Vince, and almost given as many chances, Billings finally took his chance with the absence of Joe Denly. Admitted this allowed him to take pressure off his performances, and it showed with two commanding innings. Was the glue that held England together in their two wins.
Moeen Ali – 2/10 Matches: 3, 1 run at 0.50, SR 12.50; 25 overs, 0 wickets, econ 4.60 – England fans will be praying Moeen’s struggles in Test cricket haven’t started to bleed into his white-ball form too. No time in the middle with the bat, and bowled economically without ever looking threatening. Has work to do with his captaincy skills too, as England sleepwalked towards defeat under his guidance in the third ODI.
David Willey – 9/10 Matches: 3, 98 runs at 98.00, SR 111.36; 28.4 overs, 8 wickets, econ 5.16 – English bowlers with something to prove seem to rise to the occasion in the most emphatic manner. Mirroring Broad’s performances in the Test side, Willey had a series to remember with both bat and ball, including a five-wicket haul on his comeback. Would be a brave man that leaves him out now.
Tom Curran – 4/10 Matches: 2, 38 runs, SR 70.37; 17 overs, 1 wicket, econ 6.11 – Underwhelming without massively underperforming. But is that enough to stay in this world-beating side? Probably not.
Adil Rashid – 7/10 Matches: 3, 3 runs at 3.00, SR 100.00; 30 overs, 5 wickets, econ 4.03 – Ireland looked like a rabbit in the headlights against his variations in the first two ODIs, but the experienced heads managed to outwit him third time around. His middle-over control is invaluable, as is his ability to bamboozle the lower order.
Saqib Mahmood – 6/10 Matches: 3, 12 runs at 12.00, SR 80.00; 27.5 overs, 4 wickets, econ 4.99 – A promising series for Mahmood, England will be happy with the 23-year-old’s progress as England build in the early stages of a new World Cup cycle. Hoping to develop in the middle overs and take wickets when the batting side isn’t looking to attack.
Reece Topley – 6/10 Matches: 1, 9 overs, 1 wicket, econ 3.44 – Such a shame injuries continue to blight the left-armer. Could form a serious partnership with David Willey if his body allows him.
Paul Stirling – 8/10 Matches: 3, 156 runs at 52.00, SR 102.63; 0.1 overs, 0 wickets, econ 6.00 – No runs in the first two ODIs (like most of his teammates, if truth be told) but the innings of the series in the finale. As a senior player in a relatively young side, now needs to impose himself on a more consistent basis.
Gareth Delany – 3/10 Matches: 3, 34 runs at 11.33, SR 69.38; 8 overs, 1 wicket, econ 5.12 – Awkward technique, average returns. Got the crucial wicket of Tom Banton in the third ODI with his useful part-time leg spin.
Andy Balbirnie – 8/10 Matches: 3, 131 runs at 43.66, SR 89.11 – Captained the side brilliantly and bravely: didn’t immediately spread the field when his side were under the pump. Joined Stirling in constructing a brilliant century in the final one-dayer.
Harry Tector – 4/10 Matches: 3, 57 runs at 28.50, SR 63.33 – Guided his side home with nerveless ability in the third ODI, but many positives to take from his first two performances.
Kevin O’Brien – 3/10 Matches: 3, 46 runs at 23.00, SR 79.31 – Hit the winning runs in the third game which incited memories of the famous World Cup victory over England in Bangalore nine years ago. But as a senior player, he should be scoring more than 46 runs in three matches.
Lorcan Tucker – 2/10 Matches: 3, 21 runs at 10.50, SR 65.62 – Struggled with the bat and behind the stumps at points. Still only 23 though, so plenty of time to learn and hone his game.
Curtis Campher – 9/10 Matches: 3, 127 runs at 127.00, SR 61.95; 21.3 overs, 5 wickets, econ 6.69 – The find of the series for Ireland. Impressed in various games with bat and with ball, and unlike every one of his teammates, showed consistency in all three games. A serious competitor too – seemed to get pumped up with the ball in hand.
Simi Singh – 4/10 Matches: 2, 25 runs at 12.50, SR 67.56; 5.5 overs, 0 wickets, econ 4.45 – Not much of an impact in this series. Rightly dropped for Ireland’s only success.
Andy McBrine – 5/10 Matches: 3, 64 runs at 32.00, SR 88.88; 21 overs, 1 wicket, econ 6.71 – Handy runs in the lower order, but his gentle off-spin was never likely to challenge the world’s best.
Barry McCarthy – 3/10 Matches: 1, 3 runs at 3.00, SR 27.27; 0.5 overs, 0 wickets, econ 3.60 – Disappointing that he broke down without completing a single over in the opening match.
Craig Young – 8/10 Matches: 3, 13 runs at 13.00, SR 72.22; 27 overs, 6 wickets, econ 6.55 – Top Irish wicket-taker in the series, bowled at a very decent pace. His career bowling averages are excellent, but how many years has the 30-year-old got left in him?
Mark Adair – 6/10 Matches: 1, 7 overs, 1 wicket, econ 6.42 – Came into the side for the winning ODI, which is always a nice feeling.
Josh Little – 7/10 Matches: 2, 18.5 overs, 5 wickets, econ 6.47 – Picked up a handful of wickets, but was fairly expensive. Adds variety to the Irish attack, and is a fierce competitor, as shown by his send-off of Jonny Bairstow in the 2nd ODI, which resulted in a demerit point.
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