England beat Ireland by four wickets: second one-day international – as it happened

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That was an unusual runchase. Jonny Bairstow’s violent 41-ball .....afternoon!

That was an unusual runchase. Jonny Bairstow’s violent 41-ball 82 put England miles ahead of the rate, but they kept losing wickets to loose strokes and suddenly found themselves in a bit of a bother at 137 for six. The in-form pair of Sam Billings and David Willey took control of the situation with the minimum of fuss, adding 79 from 88 balls to take England to victory. They lead Ireland 2-0 with one match to play on Tuesday.

David Willey and Sam Billings walk off after England’s victory.
David Willey and Sam Billings walk off after England’s victory. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/NMC Pool/The Guardian

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ENGLAND WIN BY FOUR WICKETS WITH 105 BALLS TO SPARE!

32.3 overs: England 214-6 (Billings 46, Willey 47) That’ll do. Willey hooks Campher for four to complete another bilateral series victory for England.

32nd over: England 210-6 (Billings 46, Willey 41) Willey pulls Young for a one-handed six, and then Billings pulls fiercely for four more. This has been a superb partnership of 73 in 14.1 overs, strikingly calm and businesslike at a time when England were facing potential embarrassment.

31st over: England 196-6 (Billings 40, Willey 34) In the past week, Billings has scored 161 runs against Ireland without being dismissed. He also hammered an unbeaten 54 for England Lions in a warm-up game. He is content to play out a maiden to see off the dangerous Little, who finishes with figures of 10-3-60-3.

30th over: England 196-6 (Billings 40, Willey 34) Willey bottom-edges a pull off Young that falls just short of the keeper Tucker. It’s been a good effort from Ireland, who at once stage were facing a heavy defeat, but it’s slipping away nopw.

“Having followed the Bob Willis this afternoon, I was chuffed to see some red-ball cricket,” says Rooto, “but this evening I feel a little sadness for the losers of this curtailed season: the county white-ball specialists. While we can watch Vince nick off again and discuss how many more chances Moeen or Denly will get, there’s a guy like Sam Hain - the Shai Hope of the West Midlands - who won’t get any opportunities to show off his 50-over average till 2021. Small fry in the greater scheme of things, but deserving of a little sympathy perhaps.”

Yeah I was a bit surprised they included Vince and Denly in the squad, especially with players like Hain, Liam Livingstone and Phil Salt around.

29th over: England 192-6 (Billings 38, Willey 32) Little returns to the attack, with Ireland realising it’s now or never. Probably the latter: Billings drives him classily through mid-off for four to take England within 21 runs of victory. Billings has put almost 50 per cent on his ODI batting average in the last three days. It was 22.58 at the start of the series, it’s now 31.33.

28th over: England 186-6 (Billings 33, Willey 31) Craig Young returns to the attack and is timed gloriously through mid-on for four by Billings. That might be the shot of the day.

England’s Sam Billings hits another boundary.
England’s Sam Billings hits another boundary. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/NMC Pool/The Guardian

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27th over: England 179-6 (Billings 26, Willey 31)

26th over: England 178-6 (Billings 25, Willey 31) After a bit of a wobble - a Little wobble, even - England are back in control of the match. Willey belts McBrine for four, and three safe singles make it an excellent over for England. They need 35 from 24 overs.

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25th over: England 171-6 (Billings 23, Willey 26) It’s offspin at both ends, with Simi Singh coming into the attack. With the run-rate not an issue, England are happy to deal in safe singles for now. Two from the over.

24th over: England 169-6 (Billings 22, Willey 25) The offspinner McBrine replaces Little, whose last two overs are being saved for the business end of the innings. For now Billings is playing the anchor role, dealing in low-risk singles while Willey takes care of the boundaries.

23rd over: England 167-6 (Billings 21, Willey 24) No faffing around from Willey, who drives Campher for consecutive boundaries to bring the target below 50.

“Can we please talk about Moeen, and specifically how he still gets selected?” says Gareth Wilson. “His last score of note in ODIs was 102* in Sept 2017; his last decent bowling performance was 3 for 50 against Pakistan last year. He’s not young, he’s not a great fielder - why do England stick with him?”

Morgan likes having two spinners, and we know that at his best Moeen is a devastating death-hitter. I agree his recent form has been pretty poor, and his barren spells are getting longer. But Moeen, perhaps more than any England cricketer of my lifetime, has sudden, dramatic swings in form. He could easily stroke a euphoric 74 from 34 balls on Tuesday. But at the moment he’s in the side because of what he offers on paper.

22nd over: England 154-6 (Billings 19, Willey 13) Little digs in a short one to Willey, who flick-pulls it nonchalantly to long leg for six. That was a cracking shot. England need 59 from 28 overs.

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21st over: England 146-6 (Billings 18, Willey 6) England have a bit of a tail today, with Saqib Mahmood and Reece Topley in the team, so Ireland have a great chance of a famous victory. If England are to win, Billings, Willey and Adil Rashid will need to score most of the runs.

20th over: England 143-6 (Billings 17, Willey 4) In his short ODI career, Josh Little has a bowling average of 13 against England and 217 against everyone else. He almost gets another wicket when Billings fresh-airs a booming drive. This is all becoming a bit hairy for England.

19th over: England 143-6 (Billings 17, Willey 4) Half an hour ago, Ireland were 50/1 to win this match; they’re now 10/3. If they get Billings out in the next 10 minutes they should be favourites.

Young bowls a no-ball, picked up by the third umpire, but Willey misses an attempted hook off the resulting free hit. Willey gets off the mark later in the over, blasting an uppish drive past short extra cover.

18th over: England 137-6 (Billings 17, Willey 0) A double-wicket maiden from Little, who has taken three for nought in his last seven deliveries.

“Perhaps Vince can be slotted into a group of not just elegant players who flatter to deceive but the ones with otherworldly talent who just didn’t translate it consistently on the bigger stage,” says Ian Copestake. “Am picking at the scars of Hick and Ramprakash because I am ancient, but I wonder if selectors see them as bad boy dates they could reform and claim credit for guiding towards the light.”

There’s definitely something in that. Even the great Duncan Fletcher, an unsentimental man, couldn’t resist recalling Graeme Hick.

WICKET! England 137-6 (Moeen c Tucker b Little 0)

Now then! Moeen Ali has also gone for a duck, top-edging a hook off Josh Little. The keeper Tucker ran round towards backward square leg to take a comfortable catch.

Ireland players celebrate the dismissal of Moeen Ali.
Ireland players celebrate the dismissal of Moeen Ali. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/NMC Pool/The Guardian

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WICKET! England 137-5 (Morgan c Campher Little 0)

Hello. Eoin Morgan goes for a second-ball duck, slapping a long hop from Little straight to cover, and suddenly England are five down.

Despair for Eoin Morgan as he is dismissed by Josh Little (far left) for a duck.
Despair for Eoin Morgan as he is dismissed by Josh Little (far left) for a duck. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/NMC Pool/The Guardian

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17th over: England 137-4 (Billings 17, Morgan 0) Billings, who looks in terrific touch, eases Campher wide of mid-on for his third boundary. England need 76 from 33 overs.

16th over: England 131-4 (Billings 13, Morgan 0) “Bairstow must have a strong inner resolve to put up with constantly hearing about how good Buttler can be when he’s actually being pretty good himself,” says Tom Van der Gucht. “In terms of averages and number of centuries in relation to games played in Test and ODI cricket, he’s outperformed Buttler. Yet everyone always bangs on about how Buttler is a genius and what potential he has.

“In Moneyball terms, the stats paint an interesting picture. I know Bairstow’s returns in Test cricket dipped over the last two years. But that coincides with two years where he was shunted up and down the order, was stripped of the gloves and put up with a lot of hammer in the press about how good Buttler MIGHT be...”

From 2015-17 Bairstow was such a good Test player, better than Buttler has ever been. I’m still not quite sure how or why he lost his way - but he did, spectacularly so, and I thought it was the right decision to drop him. I find it much harder to compare him and Buttler in ODIs because their role is completely different.

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WICKET! England 131-4 (Bairstow c Tucker b Little 82)

Bairstow’s storming innings comes to an end. He carved at a poor delivery from Little and edged it through to the keeper. I think there were a few words between Bairstow and Little as he left the crease. It was a savage knock from Bairstow: 82 from 41 balls with 14 fours and two sixes.

Ireland’s Josh Little has words with Jonny Bairstow after dismissing him.
Ireland’s Josh Little has words with Jonny Bairstow after dismissing him. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/NMC Pool/The Guardian

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15th over: England 120-3 (Bairstow 73, Billings 14) Four more to Billings, clipped easily off the pads when Campher is a bit too straight.

“Good afternoon Rob,” says Adam Roberts. “Well, this is like old times with me on my sofa in Cayman and you at your keyboard in Orkney. The big difference is that I have been working out of this room since March 19th. I have been trying to do other things while keeping an eye on the cricket, which was a big mistake as I looked up and Bairstow was already on 30! The lowkey commentary and lack of crowd noise gave little away about the carnage taking place. In non-international news, great that Haseeb Hameed has joined my beloved Notts (along with youngsters Chris Nash and Peter Trego) and has scored 68 today. I so hope this can be the beginning of a resurgence for him.”

He’s still only 23, so he’s got loads of time. Mind you, we might be having the same conversation when he scores 94 on his debut for Kent in the year 2037. “He’s still only 40, so he’s got loads of time.”

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14th over: England 114-3 (Bairstow 74, Billings 6) Josh Little returns to the attack. Bairstow creams him for consecutive boundaries down the ground, the first over his head and the second along the floor. This is a ludicrous innings: 73 from 36 balls with 12 fours and two sixes.

“Vince out to a loose drive?” says David Horn. “Who’d have thunk it. I know he’s a beautiful player to watch, but you never get to watch for very long. The selectors really must see something in him that the rest of us (me) can’t.”

Style is always more persuasive, no? Vince makes batting look easier than most, and for much of his England career – probably until the World Cup – it felt like he was one innings away from a significant breakthrough. Even Ian Chappell liked the look of him, and I’m not sure there’s a better judge in world cricket. I wish England had kept him in the Test team a bit longer after the winter of 2017-18, though I can understand why they decided to cut their losses. His shot selection hasn’t really improved and he’s 29 now, so I suspect this summer is the last we’ll see of him.

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13th over: England 104-3 (Bairstow 64, Billings 5) Replays show that LBW was only just hitting leg stump. It was still out, though, so you can save your conspiracy theories. The new batsman is Sam Billings, who gets off the mark with a confident back-foot drive for four.

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WICKET! England 98-3 (Banton LBW b Campher 15)

Tom Banton falls again to his nemesis Curtis Campher. He missed an attempted clip at a very full delivery that hit him in front of middle. It looked plumb.

Ireland’s bowler Curtis Campher celebrates taking the wicket of England’s batsman Tom Banton.
Ireland’s bowler Curtis Campher celebrates taking the wicket of England’s batsman Tom Banton. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

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12th over: England 98-2 (Bairstow 63, Banton 15) Bairstow, on the charge, crunches McBrine down the ground for four to move into the sixties.

11th over: England 88-2 (Bairstow 58, Banton 10) Banton inside-edges Campher just wide of the stumps for four. His second boundary is a classier affair, a beautifully timed straight drive.

“Does Bairstow have somewhere to be tonight?” asks Stephen Brown. “Do they get to leave the biobubble today?”

The players don’t, but the ball might if Bairstow carries on like this.

10th over: England 77-2 (Bairstow 57, Banton 1) “Evening Rob,” says Will Lane. “Bairstow is brilliant, I never would have thought four years ago that Alex Hales wouldn’t get into the ODI team. Even without being ostracised by captain fantastic Morgan, I’m not sure he would make it into the team. On another, related note, given the option of YJB and Roy, who would you choose? (FWIW for aesthetic reasons I would go with Roy.)”

I can’t split them. Even the statisticians can’t split them – since they opened together for the first time in the aftermath of Bristol, their performance is almost identical:

  • Bairstow 2170 runs at 49.31, strike-rate 112.20, 8x100
  • Roy 1996 runs at 49.90, strike-rate 112.13, 6x10

9th over: England 71-2 (Bairstow 52, Banton 0) A wicket maiden to start from Campher.

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WICKET! England 71-2 (Vince b Campher 16)

Curtis Campher does it again! It looks like Ireland have found a player here. After top-scoring again he has bowled James Vince with his fourth delivery. It was a beauty, which nipped back to beat Vince’s slightly loose drive and knock his middle stump over.

James Vince of England is bowled by Curtis Campher of Ireland.
James Vince of England is bowled by Curtis Campher of Ireland. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Ireland’s Curtis Campher (right) celebrates bowling England’s James Vince, who trudges off the pitch.
Campher (right) celebrates as Vince trudges off the pitch. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

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8th over: England 71-1 (Bairstow 52, Vince 16) The offspinner Andy McBrine replaces Little, who was smacked for 25 in three overs. Bairstow greets him with a savage straight drive that bounces just inside the rope. He nails the same stroke two balls later, launching McBride back over his head for six. That takes Bairstow to a record-equalling 21-ball fifty. It’s been utterly brutal. His next target might be England’s fastest ODI hundred: 46 balls by Jos Buttler against Pakistan in 2015-16. He has 52 from 23 balls.

England’s Jonny Bairstow smashes another boundary.
England’s Jonny Bairstow smashes another boundary. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/NMC Pool/The Guardian
England’s Jonny Bairstow celebrates his half century.
Bairstow celebrates his half century. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Reuters

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7th over: England 59-1 (Bairstow 41, Vince 15) Bairstow clips Young over square leg for six, another meaty, mighty blow. He has 41 from 18 balls and could yet hit England’s fastest ODI fifty. Eoin Morgan holds the record, 21 balls against Australia in 2018.

Dismay for Craig Young as Jonny Bairstow (right) gets more runs.
Dismay for Craig Young as Jonny Bairstow (right) gets more runs. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/NMC Pool/The Guardian

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6th over: England 48-1 (Bairstow 32, Vince 13) Bairstow’s assault means that Vince doesn’t need to rush his innings at the other end. He still picks up two boundaries in Little’s over with two beautiful drives, one off each foot.

“Jonny Bairstow,” says Abhijato Sensarma, “is Rohit Sharma with more brutality, less elegance, an equally good average and a much better middle order!”

5th over: England 40-1 (Bairstow 32, Vince 5) One thing I love about Bairstow is that he often treats the first ten overs of an ODI innings as if he’s playing a T10 game. He smokes Young through square leg for another boundary, his sixth in only 14 deliveries. Make that seven in 16 balls after another brusque thump over mid-on. This is spectacular stuff. I’ve just looked at the ODI batting rankings, and Bairstow is 14th. That’s a travesty.

4th over: England 30-1 (Bairstow 23, Vince 4) Vince gets off the mark with a boundary, flick-pulling Little round the corner.

3rd over: England 25-1 (Bairstow 23, Vince 0) Bairstow is off to the usual flyer. He clips Young through midwicket for four and then launches a pull over square leg for another. Bairstow has become an awesome ODI opener and must be seriously intimidating to bowl at. He finishes the over with a majestic chip over midwicket that takes him to 23 from 12 balls.

“Hi Rob,” says Mike Williams. “Great to follow the cricket with you and the team after weeks of lockdown frustration. Can I give a major shout out from Versailles to Dan Allen who posts great vids on YouTube of his club Sanderstead – based in Croydon. Dan has been providing 10-minute highlight vids of games from previous seasons, some wonder ‘bloopers’ and more and has generated a worldwide following for this village side (16,000 subscribers and four million views). He’s really made lockdown a little less painful.”

2nd over: England 13-1 (Bairstow 11, Vince 0) The muscular left-armer Josh Little, who has troubled England in the past, shares the new ball. Bairstow has a cursory look before launching the fourth ball over extra cover for four. He throws his hands at the next ball, a very wide half-volley, and inside edges it past the keeper for another boundary.

1st over: England 1-1 (Bairstow 0, Vince 0) England get off the mark thanks to a leg-side wide, the only run from a good first over by Young.

WICKET! England 0-1 (Roy c Delany b Young 0)

Ireland have got one of those early wickets! Jason Roy has gone for a third-ball duck. He chased a very wide half-volley from Craig Young and clonked it straight to Gareth Delany at extra cover.

Jason Roy after his dismissal.
Jason Roy after his dismissal. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/NMC Pool/The Guardian

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Thanks Adam, evening everyone. You’d expect this to be a comfortable runchase for England, though you can never be completely sure on a used pitch. One thing is for sure: Ireland need early wickets, ideally Nos1 and 2.

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Better than Ireland would have thought an hour ago. That’s the long story short, the visitors limping along before Campher (68) and McBrine came together at 151/7 in the 42nd over, advancing the score to 207/8 by the time they were separated with nine balls to go. It’s something to bowl to. England will be disappointed not to have finished it off but they made sure in the first half that they’d never be chasing that many, thanks to Willey’s early breakthroughs and Adil Rashid’s three wickets in the middle overs. Oh, and remember the time when James Vince came on first change and picked up the wicket of an international captain? Let’s never forget when we were together for that one. Over to Rob, bye from the bubble!

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IRELAND FINISH ON 212/9 (WICKET! McBrine c Bairstow b Topley 24)

Reece Topley has the job of the last over and does it expertly, too quick and too tough to get away, McBrine nearly hit by a bumper to finish, gloving it to Bairstow. He earned that entry in the book - an international wicket for the Andy Carroll lookalike (thanks, Matt Davies in Mexico City) after four years away from the big time. England are set 213 to win the ODI and wrap up the series.

49th over: Ireland 209-8 (McBrine 22, Young 1) McBrine has three balls left in this penultimate over, how will he manage it? With a single to begin, out to deep midwicket. Young swings hard... top edge... and put down! In fairness to Bairstow, he had to sprint hard and made enough ground to dive with the flight but after getting both hands to it, the ball slipped through. Back to McBrine, who is nutmegged by Mahmood to finish his work for the day, 2/45 from nine. Nice job.

Very good catch, this.



WICKET! Campher c Rashid b Mahmood 68 (Ireland 207-8)

That’s a top catch, Rashid racing in from third man, diving forward. It’s the end of Campher’s innings, the first time he’s been dismissed in international cricket after a pair of fine half-centuries, giving his new side a chance. Mahmood gets his second.

Adil Rashid of England takes the catch to dismiss Curtis Campher of Ireland.
Adil Rashid of England takes the catch to dismiss Curtis Campher of Ireland. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

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48th over: Ireland 205-7 (Campher 67, McBrine 20) The 50 partnership comes up in just 35 balls between these two, the second time they have combined nicely for the ninth wicket. McBrine’s turn to make room, carving over point, but only getting two. Topley holds his nerve, too quick for McBrine - nearing cleaning him up - then deceiving him with a slower ball bumper. They finish with a couple, dropped behind square by the left hander, who races back to the danger end.

“England seem very good at causing early wobbles in ODIs,” writes Tom V d Gucht, “such as getting the opposition 5 down for about 50 runs, but despite getting them on the ropes, they very rarely seem to go for the jugular and finish them off for really low scores. They always seem to step back and let their opponents limp on to around 200 which often seems to cause England’s own wobbles as they struggle to work out how to approach the chase. They’re like the Chris Eubank of bowling first in Cricket.”

On the other hand, gives them plenty of experience chasing tricky targets?


47th over: Ireland 200-7 (Campher 66, McBrine 16) Campher really making it count now, pulling Willey with authority into the gap for four more. He makes it two in a row with his best shot yet, slamming a powerful lofted off-drive to the boundary. Goo you good thing. Now three in the over with a reverse! He played that superbly, third man up to push long-off back, lifting it just there. 15 off the over; by far Ireland’s best of the innings. Keeping the strike with one, the 200 is up. Well, forget what I said at the 35 over mark about battling to get to 200... 230 might be on here.

Campher to 50!

46th over: Ireland 185-7 (Campher 52, McBrine 15) What a great story this is! To recap, Campher wasn’t able to get out of South Africa until June. He arrived with no expectations, got himself onto this tour, into the squad of, into the XI and now has back-to-back 50s before playing a single game in Ireland. Lovely kid, too. He gets to the mark with his sixth boundary of the innings, getting down low in the crease to lift Topley over short-fine leg. Clever late-innings batting. Keep going!

Raphael Sechemabite asks, as a newcomer to the game, whether England will be able to get 200-odd on this slow, big ground. That shouldn’t be a problem, but Ireland - through Campher - have given themselves something to bowl to.

45th over: Ireland 179-7 (Campher 47, McBrine 14) Willey goes full to McBrine who goes BANG in reply, straight over his head for four. The Irish off-spinner/lower-order slapper is having a good series so far. Campher’s turn now, going for the both-feet-in-the-air uppercut to finish, landing just inside the rope for a couple more. Eight off it, they’ll take that. If these two are there at the end, 210ish? A chance.

44th over: Ireland 171-7 (Campher 45, McBrine 9) Topley is back to inject a bit of pace into the final stanza, which is used nicely by both batmsen early in the over. But they can’t go on to find the boundary, the big left-armer beating the edge then too zippy with his bumper at McBrine. Two more singles to finish. This is pretty much where their innings ended on Thursday, all out for 174 in the 45th.

43rd over: Ireland 167-7 (Campher 43, McBrine 7) Campher pulls Willey in the air behind square but there’s no fielder where he has placed it - he gets four for the shot, moving into the 40s. He made an unbeaten 59 on Thursday and is well on the way to something similar here today. Using that ramp again, McBrine keeps the board ticking over whenever he’s on strike. Ten from it: nice, positive batting.

Ireland’s Andy McBrine and Curtis Campher narrowly avoid each other as they rack up the runs.
Ireland’s Andy McBrine and Curtis Campher narrowly avoid each other as they rack up the runs. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/NMC Pool/The Guardian

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42nd over: Ireland 157-7 (Campher 35, McBrine 5) McBrine pushes and runs first ball, straight to David Willey at mid-on who misses his ping at the stumps for about 12 metres. He was well short had the throw been on target. But the close call doesn’t bother the punchy number nine, carefully ramping the final ball of the successful Mahmood set, over the top of about third slip for four. He was very good the other night with Campher, slapping a quick 40. Again, please.

“Good afternoon Adam.” And to you, Kim Thonger. “Entirely unrelated to cricket, my wife has looked up from her book on Phillipa of Hainault, wife of Edward III, and informed me earnestly that Queen’s College Oxford is named after her and I just jolly well think all the good people in the London Borough of Redbridge ought to know. Could you shout it from your virtual rooftops please? I thenk yow. Also could you tell my wife not to interrupt me in future when I’m concentrating on the OBO?” Kim, I can’t tell you how ill-equipped I am to offer comment on this!

WICKET! Singh c Bairstow b Mahmood 25 (Ireland 151/7)

He’s earned that, Mahmood. It’s the cross-seamer that gets him into the book here, Singh not quite picking the change of pace, edging into Bairstow’s safe gloves. The partnership of 59 comes to an end.

41st over: Ireland 147-6 (Campher 34, Singh 21) Willey is back to start the final ten for England, two early wickets to his name in the first power play. He doesn’t add to that column here but Ireland add just two singles. Is 200 realistic?

40th over: Ireland 145-6 (Campher 33, Singh 20) Singh gets just enough on a cut shot he doesn’t control, away from Bairstow’s glove and down to the rope. That brings up the 50 partnership between these two, in 75 balls. In Campher’s case, some similarities to how he saved Ireland from humiliation at 28/5 on Thursday.

REVIEW! NOT OUT! Mahmood believes he has found Campher’s edge and Bairstow is so sure of it that he gets Morgan to go upstairs... but he’s missed it by a long way.

39th over: Ireland 138-6 (Campher 31, Singh 15) Moeen’s eighth, Singh taking the first delivery down the ground. Campher tries to do the same but the spinner is down quickly to field nicely off his own bowling. It takes until the final ball of the set for him to get down the other end, beating Banton at midwicket. Very tidy.

38th over: Ireland 136-6 (Campher 30, Singh 14) Very good shout for lbw, Mahmood slipping past Campher’s inside edge. Looked very good but Morgan declined to review and Morgan knows best - it was doing too much, missing leg stump. Three singles plus the leg bye, a pretty useful over there from the young quick.

Kevin Pietersen is talking down to Rob Key on telly. Does he not realise that Key is the senior man in this broadcasting partnership? In fact, almost certainly not.

37th over: Ireland 132-6 (Campher 29, Singh 12) Moeen to Campher, who takes the one on offer down the ground, Singh doing likewise but after three dots balls are raced through between times. Campher keeps the strike. Time to shift gears.

A suggestion from Paul Haynes: “If OBO readers sensing controversy around dropping Billings in the near future – or “Billingsgate” - are referred to as “Billingsgaters” then what about those sensing controversy about Ali being dropped? Let’s not even mention the possibility that Billings or Ali are replaced by Old Harrovians Gary Ballance or Nick Compton!”

36th over: Ireland 130-6 (Campher 28, Singh 11) Saqid Mahmood is spun around to follow Rashid, now from the Pavilion End. Campher continues to take responsibility for the bulk of the scoring with his straightforward technique, taking an almighty swipe at a short ball, top-edging over Bairstow for a couple. The problem persists for Ireland though: it was one only two scoring shots across the over. DRINKS are on the field with 14 overs remaining in the innings.

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.

Lorcan Tucker of Ireland tries to sweep Adil Rashid but is caught by Reece Topley.
Lorcan Tucker of Ireland tries to sweep Adil Rashid ... Photograph: Tom Jenkins/NMC Pool/The Guardian
England’s Reece Topley takes a catch to dismiss Ireland’s Lorcan Tucker.
But is caught by Reece Topley. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Poo/Reuters

Updated

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.

Harry Tector of Ireland tries to hit out against Adil Rashid but is caiught by Saqid Mahmood .
Harry Tector of Ireland tries to hit out against Adil Rashid but is caiught by Saqid Mahmood . Photograph: Tom Jenkins/NMC Pool/The Guardian

Updated

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.

Kevin O’Brien of Ireland is bowled by Adil Rashid.
Kevin O’Brien of Ireland is bowled by Adil Rashid. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/NMC Pool/The Guardian
Ireland’s batsman Kevin O’Brien (right) walks back to the pavilion after getting bowled out by England’s Adil Rashid (second right) .
O’Brien (right) walks back to the pavilion after losing his wicket to Rashid (second right). Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

16th over: Ireland 44-4 (Tector 12)

Updated

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.

Including Brian Lara. True story.



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!

England’s James Vince (second left) celebrates taking the wicket of Ireland’s Andy Balbirnie.
England’s James Vince (second left) celebrates taking the wicket of Ireland’s Andy Balbirnie. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

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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.

Ireland’s Andrew Balbirnie sweeps Moeen Ali.
Ireland’s Andrew Balbirnie sweeps Moeen Ali. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/NMC Pool/The Guardian

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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.

Ireland’s Paul Stirling hits out only to be caught by Tom Banton of England .
Ireland’s Paul Stirling hits out only to be caught by Tom Banton of England . Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images for ECB
David Willey celebrates with England teammates after Tom Banton caught Paul Stirling off his bowling.
David Willey celebrates with England teammates after Tom Banton caught Paul Stirling off his bowling. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/NMC Pool/The Guardian

Updated

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.

David Willey of England celebrates with captain Eoin Morgan after getting out Delany LBW.
David Willey of England celebrates with captain Eoin Morgan after getting out Delany LBW. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/NMC Pool/The Guardian

Updated

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.

Updated

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

That’s better.

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!

The two captains greet each other for the toss.
The two captains greet each other for the toss. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

Updated

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.

Preamble

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.

Right, let’s settle in. Drop me a line, ping me a tweet. Good afternoon!

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