England vs Ireland ODI Series: England eclipse Ireland by six wickets to take 1-0 lead in Royal London series

Defending world champions England took the pitch at home after a wait of 382 days after the coronavirus pandemic put a halt to the game. This is the first ODI series that England will play at home after their historic World Cup triumph at Lord’s last year. They have toured New Zealand and South Africa since but haven’t played any white-ball cricket at home.

The reigning world champions England lived up to their lofty repute after registering an emphatic win against Ireland, in the Royal London series opener in Southampton.

The Eoin Morgan side secured a comprehensive six-wickets victory to eclipse Ireland, and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

David Willey was the showstopper for the Three Lions after he registered his maiden ODI five-wicket haul. Willey’s stellar display bundled out Ireland for 172 after debutant Curtis Campher and Andy McBrine saved grace.

For Ireland, debutant Curtis Campher scored the highest for his side with a steely knock of 59. Curtis Campher’s innings was the second-highest for Ireland on ODI debut, and the second-highest from all countries by a No.7 batsman on men’s ODI debut.

Coupled with McBrine at the other end, the pair registered a partnership of 66, which is Ireland’s second-highest for the eighth wicket in ODIs.

Chasing 173, England had a relative easy task. However, the top order failed miserably until an unbroken 96-run partnership between Billings and Morgan to saw the hosts to victory.

Skipper Eoin Morgan 36* and Sam Billing 64*remained unbeaten, as Billing recorded his career-best score in ODI cricket, surpassing the 62 he scored against Bangladesh in Chittagong back in 2016.

The England vs Ireland ODI series also marked the first ODI series after the coronavirus lockdown. It will also be a part of the recently-announced ODI Super League, meaning that it now carries a lot of significance for Ireland. Each point the Irish earn in the Super League would go a long way in ensuring their World Cup qualification. The teams next lock horns on August 1.