35th over: Ireland 125-6 (Campher 26, Singh 10) Campher again, this time going back to Moeen and pulling hard and into the gap. With 15 overs to go, the new man has to be there at the end for Ireland to have any chance of sneaking over 200.
34th over: Ireland 119-6 (Campher 20, Singh 10) Rashid completes his set, 3/34 from his ten. Most of those runs leaked in the last few of his overs after ripping through Ireland’s middle order. Another fine performance from the 32-year-old. Credit to Campher, who, staring down the barrell of another quiet over, took the initiative by walking down at the legspinner and hitting him over his head for four.
33rd over: Ireland 114-6 (Campher 15, Singh 10) Five easy singles to the sweepers off Moeen - at last! Dare I say it, Ireland have looked overwhelmed - like a second-tier team - in both batting innings. They have been, and are, so much better than this.
“Just read the Jonathan Liew piece on the infamous BBQ mural as instructed,” says Brian Withington. “Shane’s World meets Dizzie and Warnie’s Excellent Adventure. Almost painfully funny reading, that was only missing our hero playing Twister with Death whilst demonstrating his latest ‘mystery ball?’”
I remember where I was when first reading it: on a bus from Oval to Peckham. The other patrons must have thought I was on another planet, sobbing with laughter.
32nd over: Ireland 109-6 (Campher 12, Singh 8) Before the leg before shout (and the one before it, which they didn’t review), Singh swept him expertly behind square for four. That’s more like it - Ireland can’t afford to just limp to the finish line here.
NOT OUT! The ball hit Singh outside the line when sweeping, and was going over the stumps in any case.
IS SINGH LBW? Rashid likes it, the umpire doesn’t. England go upstairs.
31st over: Ireland 104-6 (Campher 11, Singh 4) Moeen slows it straight back down, singles down the ground to bookend the other with four dots sandwiched in.
30th over: Ireland 102-6 (Campher 10, Singh 3) That helps! Rashid, from nowhere has a shocker, sending down a wide then a no-ball that runs away for four. After the scrappy start, he gets to the other end of the over giving up nine. He has two left.
“Hey Adam, how’s it going?” I’m well, JP. Thanks for asking. “You’ve had some pretty tough to things to say about the Southampton Bowl in the recent past, and I just wondered if you’re warming to the place? Sure, it doesn’t have the venerable hauntology or history of other grounds but it does have some of the best sunset skies/long shadows combos in cricket. I love the place.”
It’s true, I’ve been nasty about this place in the past and I reserve the right to be so again in the future. But credit to the team here, who have done a wonderful job turning the ground (and broader venue) into a biosecure hub. Without it, it’s tough to see how internaitonal cricket could have worked this year. Well played.
29th over: Ireland 92-6 (Campher 8, Singh 2) Would it surprise you to learn that Morgan has thrown the ball to Moeen who skips through an over in 75 seconds, giving away just a single? No, not me, either. So, so many dot balls.
28th over: Ireland 92-6 (Campher 8, Singh 1) Simi Singh defends a couple before coming forward to Rashid, taking one down the ground to get off the mark. The leggie isn’t far away with that googly again, Campher playing it away awkwardly. 3/19 are his figures from seven overs so far. Has it on a string.
WICKET! Tucker c Topley b Rashid 21 (Ireland 91/6)
Not a pretty, Tucker responding to so many Rashid dot balls by trying to slog a wide legbreak but only managing to top edge it to Topley around the corner. Easy peasy.
27th over: Ireland 91-5 (Tucker 21, Campher 8) Shot. Campher, my man (I’ve interviewed him three times this week!) strokes Mahmood through point for four. But the problem is rotation for Ireland: this is the only scoring shot from the over.
26th over: Ireland 87-5 (Tucker 21, Campher 4) Rashid again. Campher is off strike first ball out to cover easily enough, but Tucker is no match for the veteran’s variety, unable to get any of the next five deliveries away. He has 2/18 from six.
25th over: Ireland 86-5 (Tucker 21, Campher 3) Ireland are halfway through, going at just over three an over. And Tucker is fortunate not to become the sixth wicket to fall, his outside edge off Mahmood just wide of the ‘keeper Bairstow.
“I came to this a little late after watching the qualifying at Silverstone (cricket take note about free to air sport),” writes Stephen Brown, “but when did England’s ODI squad get so weak that we need to bring James Vince in as a first change bowler? Did I dream that we won the world cup only last year?”
I wouldn’t quite see it that way. Rather, Morgan saw a chance to take advantage of a skittish Irish batting line-up by throwing something at them that they couldn’t have prepared for. And, to be fair, it worked out pretty well.
24th over: Ireland 80-5 (Tucker 16, Campher 2) Oooh, inches from two in two for Rashid! His wrong’un to the new man Campher goes through the gate via the inside edge and so close to the leg stump. They come back for a couple. Superb wrist spin.
“Can’t understand why the Irish batsmen are struggling to read the Rashid wrong ‘un,” declares Brian Withington. “Viewed in super slow mo from behind the bowler it’s clearly obvious when it comes out of the back of the hand. Simple game.” Viewed in super slow motion, Shoaib Akhtar wasn’t difficult to handle, either.
One of those wrong’uns from before, to Kev O’Brien:
WICKET! Tector c Mahmood b Rashid 28 (Ireland 78-5)
Oh dear, he’s done all the hard work Tector, but that had a sense of inevitability with Rashid on - he’s battled to pick him throughout. It ends with a chip to mid-on.
23rd over: Ireland 77-4 (Tector 28, Tucker 15) Well pulled by Tucker, waiting in the crease to take advantage of a shorter slower ball from Saqib, helping it to the rope. Nothing else going on here but these two have put on 33 in 43 balls. It’s a start.
“Hi Adam.” G’day, Pete Salmon. “My daughter’s first solid food was spinach, and the result inspired a family song to the tune of Spanish Flea. It was a little spinach poo/and it was yellow, green and blue/Ok we lied about the blue/But it was all full of spinach and when it was finished we knew/it was a little spinach poo.’ The great thing is she’s 16 now and we can still sing it to her at key moments.” Glorious Girl Dad areas - love it.
22nd over: Ireland 71-4 (Tector 27, Tucker 10) A quick survey of the press box regarding my comment about Rashid in the previous over and expectation is that yes, he will still be going in three years time when England defend their title. It would take Mason Crane or Matt Parkinson to overtake him, and they’re not close to doing so yet. Another accurate and probing over, just one off it. Too good.
21st over: Ireland 70-4 (Tector 26, Tucker 10) Saqib Mahmood on for his first go today, shuffled back to the middle overs after opening up with the new ball on Thursday. Just where he needs to be to begin, three singles and nothing more.
“Hello Adam.” Hello, Geoff Wignall! “I’d just like to say that I hope it’ll be many a long year before it’s your daughter’s turn to be feeding you mashed up banana.”
I really hope she goes full Pete Siddle and eats seven (seven!) each morning.
20th over: Ireland 67-4 (Tector 24, Tucker 9) Rashid is bouncing through his greatest hits: legbreak to slower wrong’un to quicker topspinner. At 32, he’s only getting better. If his shoulder stays together, he can make the 2023 World Cup.
“Your comment that Harry Tector had two brothers piqued my interest,” writes Robert Darby. “Sad to say they are Tim and Jack, and not Hannibal.”
If the latter, they would get an invite to Shane Warne’s barbeque mural. On that, read Jonathan Liew’s piece. Trust me on this one. It’s his finest work. Just do it.
19th over: Ireland 63-4 (Tector 23, Tucker 6) Vince is getting a touch ahead of himself here, having a go at a slower ball that drifts well down ther legside. Before that, Tucker was down the track at him, clearing mid-on for three. They can’t let this go on much longer, can they? He has a pop at another slower one later in the set, Tector able to smash him high and handsome over his head for four more. With that, I suspect the Vince experiment - fun and effective as it was - will end.
“There is a cricketing connection to the vexed gelatine question (over 3),” insists Rob Lewis. “Put on agar agar instead of gelatine, as in Ashton Agar, the spinner.”
18th over: Ireland 52-4 (Tector 17, Tucker 2) Tector has a crack at a full toss and smashes it straight back at Rashid, nearly taking the umpire out! Gee, that wasn’t far away at all from hitting his head. How far are we away from umpires wearing helmets in all white-ball games? It’s pretty much standard practice in the BBL. Anyway, that went for four. Later in the over, Rashid fancied a leg-before shout against the same batsman but the umpire turned him down. Quite forgiving.
“I watched Haseed Hameed on the Trent Bridge webstream this morning,” reports John Starnuck. “He took ages to get off the mark and missed a fair few, but stuck at it. I noticed he also scraped two marks at each end, presumably for off and middle stumps. Is this a thing?”
I’m mostly interested in hearing that he scrapped out of a tough start. More, please.
17th over: Ireland 45-4 (Tector 13, Tucker 0) This really is Generation Next in the middle now, Tector and Tucker picked for these ODIs ahead of Porterfield and Wilson, two mainstays from the golden generation in the squad but overlooked for the XI. Tector plays Vince carefully, which stands to reason after what happened to his captain, happy wih one to cover. Oooh, Tucker is beaten second up outside the off-stump by the medium pace. Vince’s figures? 1/8 from three. What a world.
“I for one am very excited to see how Vince manages to get out caught behind while bowling,” says Luke Stevenson. I’ve not been on twitter during his spell, but I’m looking forward to reading many jokes along these lines when I return!
Drinks on the field at the fall of O’Brien’s wicket. “Hello Adam,” Hi, Ian Forth. “It’s a magical time with your daughter and I do hope your mother-in-law continues to deliver the goods. Meanwhile on commentary, I’m not sure KP really understands how it works. In the space of one over he’s blatantly contradicted his co-commentator (“Was it a beauty though? Was it?”) which surely breaks an unwritten protocol; rambled and chuckled his way through an incomprehensible incident from the 18th green of his round of golf yesterday; and finished by descending into ancient bitternesses. Mark Butcher tries to wind it up with “Life’s too short to hold grudges”, but KP evidently disagrees - ‘Not if it costs you your career, Butch.’”
The TV commentators are locked away all week here, too, only able to socialise with each other after hours. That must be... so much fun.
WICKET! O'Brien b Rashid 3 (Ireland 44-4)
What a beauty! Adil Rashid is into the attack and into the book with a wrong’un that sneaks through the smallest of gaps between O’Brien’s bat and pad. Class.
16th over: Ireland 44-4 (Tector 12)
15th over: Ireland 41-3 (Tector 10, O’Brien 2) Kevin O’Brien, the Irish champion, pulls a couple away to get off the mark and end Vince’s successful over. Yes, you’re reading that correctly. Dare I say it, Ricky Ponting energy dismissing the skipper.
WICKET! Balbirnie c Bairstow b Vince 15 (Ireland 39-3)
Oh no. The Irish skipper shapes up to cut a short delivery from Vince and pulls out of the shot but not quickly enough, somehow finding a way to edge through to Bairstow. That’s James Vince with an international wicket, if you don’t mind!
14th over: Ireland 38-2 (Balbirnie 15, Tector 9) Tector is clearly battling against some nerves here, his footwork tentative and allowing Moeen to dot him up too easily. He’s a fine player, likely to be the first of three brothers to end up in this team. Good judges say their sister, Alice, could be the best of the lot.
13th over: Ireland 35-2 (Balbirnie 14, Tector 7) Here we go... James Vince into the attack to replace David Willey! He’s never bowled in ODIs, four times getting a single over in Test Matches. He does have a First Class 5-for... against the Loughborough students in 2013. Gosh, I love cricket. His medium pace is just that, dropping them down there at 75mph or so. But, he’s through it giving up just three singles, Balbirnie even leaving one alone just outside the off-stump. Fair play.
12th over: Ireland 32-2 (Balbirnie 14, Tector 4) Spin for the first time, Moeen to Tector, who eventually rotates the strike to point. Balnirnie, a fine player of slow bowling, sweeps hard and well, skipping to the square leg rope for four. Better.
11th over: Ireland 27-2 (Balbirnie 10, Tector 3) Willey goes again with the field still up, just third man and fine leg back. Balbirnie backs his drive when giving something to free his arms at, making solid contact down the ground for his first boundary. Singles for each player off the front foot later in the over, suggesting there isn’t quite as much swing as there was a couple of overs ago. Seven from it.
Good news for Haseeb Hameed fans - i.e. every single one of us.
10th over: Ireland 20-2 (Balbirnie 5, Tector 2) Topley is bowling with real control and confidence here, banging away just short of a good length at Balbirnie, his height making it so hard to score off him without risk. When the captain gets something to drive he picks out Moeen at cover, who completes an excellent diving stop. Just one from the over, making Ireland 20/2 at the end of the powerplay. Eek.
“Reece Topley looks cool,” begins Tom V d Gucht. “With his stubble, tats and sweatband, he’s quite possibly the coolest sportsman I’ve seen in years. He doesn’t look like he belongs on the cricket pitch unless it was in some sort of Frat-pack comedy - like the Chaz Michael Michaels character from Blades of Glory.”
Isolation treats some haircuts better than others and Topley is very much a winner.
9th over: Ireland 19-2 (Balbirnie 4, Tector 2) Ohh, another gem from Willey, pitching outside off before carving Balbirnie in half. So close to a third. Getting off strike, it’s Tector’s turn and he’s beaten on the other edge. He has 2/7 from five.
“Don’t want to talk him up too much, but this Willey guy looks top-class,” writes Abhijato Sensarma. “I suspect he’ll be in a world tournament squad soon enough, the bloke’s got all the tricks in his bag! Oh wait...”
There was no good solution. Obviously, England had to pick Archer and were proven correct. Willey’s omission was the only credible solution, sad as that all was. The good news? He’s 30 and there are a lot of white-ball World Cups coming up.
8th over: Ireland 18-2 (Balbirnie 3, Tector 2) Topley through another useful over, keeping Balbirnie quiet for the most part then beating Tector outside the off-stump. Ireland are in a real hole here. They need their captain to dig them out.
“Afternoon Adam, hope all’s good with you.” Thanks, Thomas Hopkins - likewise. “I noticed you sort of skipped over the banana ice cream, no comment on its quality, should we be reading anything in to that?” Oh, it was outstanding. Chocolate pieces popped in there, some caramel topping, the works. I’m well looked after.
“Also, if we’re after easy puddings, can I throw in Chocolate Fudge Tart? Caramelised condensed milk, chocolate, double cream, melt it all together, slap it on a biscuit (I go Hobnob) base and then in the fridge. If anything, it’s even more aggressively sweet than it sounds.” Spent lockdown well, didn’t you?
7th over: Ireland 17-2 (Balbirnie 2, Tector 2) Harry Tector, the 20-year-old in his second ODI, in to face Willey in full flight. He chopped on for nothing on debut, part of the carnage. Ooh, he’s lucky not to be off for another duck, nervously driving and missing at Willey’s straight one. A lot of faith is being invested in the young man, Ireland’s most consistent T20 player against Afghanistan before Covid. And he’s off the mark, tucking the final ball of the successful over for a couple. Good lad.
WICKET! Stirling c Banton b Willey 12 (Ireland 15-2)
Top snaffle! Banton at backward point diving to his left, pulling down the catch at pace. A sliced drive brings an end to Stirling’s day, Willey into the book again.
6th over: Ireland 15-1 (Stirling 12, Balbirnie 2) Wheels from Topley, beating Balbirnie with an 88mph beaut. Lots to work with here for England. Good selection.
“Apologies to David Wall about the cheesecake,” begins John Starbuck, “but we don’t appreciate the cooked versions. You could still go ahead and send in the recipe though. Also, how are readers on making their own Bakewell Puddings?”
I have very little to add, but I’m very happy to facilitate this conversation.
5th over: Ireland 13-1 (Stirling 11, Balbirnie 1) The captain Balbirnie is off the mark first ball, pushing one to mid-off. I saw the other night on twitter that these two made something like 40 per cent of Ireland’s runs in ODI cricket over the last couple of years - something ridiculous like that. They have to do the heavy lifting here against some excellent swing and seam from Willey - what a return he’s having.
“Hei Adam.” Brendan Large in Norway, good afternoon to you. “Just a little tip from a father of four...don’t be too excited about the grown-upfood. It means stuff coming out the other end is more like a grown-up’s too.”
Five and a half months now, a very fun age. Does no wrong. I’m ready for it.
WICKET! Delany lbw b Stirling 0 (Ireland 12-1)
The end of a painful stay, Delany trapped for a 12-ball duck. Willey gets him with his inswinger, the opener missing when trying to clip across the line. No DRS there.
4th over: Ireland 11-0 (Stirling 10, Delany 0) Much better length from Topley, not allowing Delany to get into his preferred front foot to drive, as he did quite nicely (albeit briefly) on Thursday before the wickets tumbled. Back to back maidens. Delany has faced 11 balls without scoring. You don’t see that too often these days.
Ben Jones via CricViz has the answer on southpaw openers, and it’s a good’un.
3rd over: Ireland 11-0 (Stirling 10, Delany 0) Willey is all over Stirling here, finding his inside edge, hitting him on the thigh pad then yorking him. But the experienced opener hollds his nerve, carefully leaving and defending the rest. A maiden.
“Hi Adam.” Hi, David Wall. “I’m a bit in two minds about today’s match in light of events on Thursday. On one hand it’s good to have more cricket, and hopefully David Wiley will build on his triumphant return to the team. On the other, John Starbuck’s mango cheesecake recipe in the OBO was such a disappointment after the initial description sounded so promising. No eggs and not baked...you’re effectively spreading cream cheese on a biscuit. And gelatine. Why, why, why? Just mix some eggs in with the cream cheese, shove it in the oven at about 160C for 45-50 minutes, then turn the oven off and leave it to cool in there with the oven door closed before chilling in the fridge.”
So I missed a fair bit, then! My girlfriend’s mum made us homemade banana ice cream for pudding last night. Oh! This is far more relevant: my baby girl had a piece of mushed up banana before I drove in today... her first solid food. It begins.
2nd over: Ireland 11-0 (Stirling 10, Delany 0) Here comes Reece Topley from the Pavilion End, two left-armers opening for England for the first time since... well, ever? He’s too full to begin, driven strongly by Stirling down the ground for the first boundary of the day. He makes it a second four when timing a drive through extra cover for another. Lovely batting. Ooh, that’s better, beating Delany with pace.
“Afternoon Adam.” And to you, Brian Withington. “How’s life in the Ageas Bowl bio-bubble? Is it (a) an immersive escapist experience for our man on the inside or (b) a wrench to be apart from the little ‘un (c) an opportunity to recover from sleep deprivation (see b)?”
Truth told, being in the ‘outer bubble’ means we get to go home at night, so it’s no big deal. It’s a strict process getting into the ground with a number of tests leading up to the ODIs and checks at the ground each time you enter, but no complaints!
1st over: Ireland 2-0 (Stirling 1, Delany 0) Willey sprays one down the legside to begin, opening Ireland’s account. He’s on it second ball though, swinging back towards Stirling and finding his inside edge. Oooh, a beaut to follow, beating him on the outside edge. Swinging in then angling away - that’s classy bowling early on. The experienced right-hander is off the mark with one to square leg. Delany has a look to begin, defending the last couple with that idiosyncratic backlift.
The players are on the field! David Willey, England’s power play supremo, has the new ball from the Hotel End. Paul Stirling, who was out to him in the first over on Thursday, is set to face up to begin. He’s out there with Gareth Delany. The players and squads take a knee once in position, as they did in the series opener. PLAY!
It's off now
The hover cover is on
I can’t explain this; I can’t see any rain. But it’s on. Delayed start likely.
“Good afternoon Adam.” Steve Morgan in North Devon, good afternoon to you. “I was hoping that you, together with the OBO massive, would be able to help settle an argument: Following the great Sam Billings innings on Thursday, is it premature to be referring to the scandal of his regular omission from the side as ‘Billingsgate’”
I’ll promise you this: next time he’s rotated out, that will be the intro of my article.
“Great to have cricket on,” writes Toby Sims. Couldn’t agree with you more. “Thoroughly enjoyed the series against the West Indies, and enjoying this so far, especially with some ‘new faces’. Very happy to see Sam Billings back at it, and it would bring a smile to my face to see Topley in the mix again. Hope to see Ireland’s young ‘uns crack at it too.”
I spoke to Billing yesterday - he’s in very good nick. As noted by a couple of my colleagues, it was quite the sliding doors moment for him on Thursday when his county teammate, Joe Denly, pulled out with a bad back. If not for that, Billings would have been running drinks. Now, it looks like he’s earned a sustained go.
Reece Topley’s last ODI was February 2016. He was 21 then; tall and quick. On the basis of that form, he made the World T20 squad, playing in the tournament. Then, it all went horribly wrong. As is the case for some many fast bowlers, his back let him down over and over again. Many operations and two counties later, he’s back. My press box colleague Rob Johnston wrote a great long piece with Reece last year.
Ireland have won the toss, they're batting
McCarthy out injured, Josh little into the XI. The left-arm seamer picked up four wickets on one-day international debut against England in Dublin last May.
Morgan says he “wasn’t really bothered” either way about the toss. You’ve gotta love him. And Reece Topley is in for Tom Curran. Nice story!
It’s lovely here now. Maybe some rain later on, but fine for the time being.
As we build up to the toss, have a look at Barney’s column on Stokes saturation.
Welcome to the second ODI between England and Ireland and welcome to the bio-bubble at Southampton where I’m coming to you from this afternoon. It’s a sticky and almost steamy, plenty of cloud cover and I’m afraid to say there has been some rain about. However, the sun is now shining ahead of the toss in about 20 minutes.
The hosts easily accounted for Andy Balbirnie’s men in the opener, winning by six wickets with 22 overs remaining. The damage was done early, recuding Ireland to 28/5 after sending them in. After that frenetic start, debutant Curtis Campher (a great story, which I’ll tell you more about as we go) settled in to bat through for an unbeaten 59, getting the visitors to 174. It wasn’t the most convincing chase early, but Sam Billings (67 not out) and Eoin Morgan took care of business.
In terms of selection, the main point of discussion is the fact that they are playing on the same surface as two days ago. It was slow then, taking to turn, so it should jag today. On that basis, Ireland have brought left-arm tweaker George Dockrell into their squad, seamer Barry McCarthy ruled out with a knee injury. For England, Liam Livingstone makes the 14 at the expense of Joe Denly, who has a bad back.
Watching warm-ups in front of me, I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if Reece Topley is brought in for his first international since 2016. The left-armer had has more operations on his back than hot meals over the last few years - this is quite the comeback tale. Maybe in for Tom Curran? Rotation, rotation, rotation.