What a pity. After all the hype surrounding Ireland’s ‘historic’ first ODI in England, the match was a huge let down. Ireland were simply overwhelmed by leg spin – something they’ve struggled with in the Intercontinental Cup too – and the match was over before the first pint of Guinness had settled.
In hindsight Ireland should have bowled first. At least this would’ve provided a longer contest and greater value for money for the crowd in Bristol. Instead the Irish batsmen collapsed in a heap after a reasonable start and spluttered their way to an apologetic 126 all out. Predictably England chased the runs at a canter.
This was very much a nightmare result for everyone who has championed Irish cricket. In order to gain respect, and perhaps earn test status one day, it’s vital that developing nations actually, you know, develop. After being thrashed by Afghanistan recently – with leg spinner Rashid Khan to the fore – many will wonder whether Irish cricket is actually progressing.
Personally I think it’s lazy to judge after one match. Maybe Ireland will come back strongly in the second ODI and show that they’re a good side in the making? When I look at their team sheet they do have some talent. Followers of county cricket will know that players like Paul Sterling, Porterfield, Wilson and Dockrell are very handy.
And although he’s getting long in the tooth, everyone who witnessed Ed Joyce’s ODI hundred for England against Australia at the SCG a decade ago knows what a good player he is too. I also thought that Peter Chase looked quite promising,
Unfortunately however, Ireland just seemed to freeze yesterday. And it always seems to look worse when it happens against leg spin. As an England supporter, we all know how inept Shane Warne made us look for years.
England, thankfully, look a much better side these days. The opposition wasn’t up to much yesterday but it was a useful workout nevertheless. Mark Wood made a welcome return to international colours – he took a little time to find his rhythm but it was worth the wait – and Adil Rashid’s confidence will be sky high after registering the second best figures ever by and English spinner in ODIs.
The only real disappointment was the early dismissal of Jason Roy. After Alastair Cook made an impressive white ball hundred for Essex the other day, I imagine some people will be clamouring for the ex-captain’s recall to the ODI side sooner rather than later.
And that, of course, would be complete madness.