Chasing what’s rated as an easy target in modern-day cricket, England registered the series-clinching victory against Ireland at The Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Saturday (August 1).
A scintillating pyrotechnics form Johnny Bairstow and a miserly effort from English bowlers, especially Adil Rashid’s masterclass, ensured a comfortable victory for the hosts.
Even though England kept losing wickets at a regular interval, Bairstow stood firm and bullied the Irish bowlers with his audacious strokeplay. He scored a fiery 41-balls 82 before falling to Joshua Little.
Bairstow’s dismissal triggered a mini-collapse as the next two batsmen, Eoin Morgan and Moeen Ali, walked back without bothering the scoreboard. Both of them fell prey to Little, bringing England in a precarious position.
At this juncture, with the scoreboard reading 143 for six, David Willey and Sam Billings formed a crucial partnership to steady the English ship. Both of them combined for 79 runs to drive England past the 212-runs target.
Meanwhile, for Ireland, top-order batsmen once again failed to make any substantial contribution as the tourists lost their five batsmen for a meagre score of 78 runs inside 25 overs.
Ireland’s openers Paul Stirling and Gareth Delany failed to provide an excellent start to the visitors as both of them succumbed to a swing-and-seam masterclass from Willey.
Rashid kept striking in the middle overs as the leggie returned with economical figures of 3-34.
In the 16th over, Rashid bowled an absolute peach of a delivery, a well-executed googly, to dismiss Kevin O’Brien.
The right-handed batsman lunged forward for a usual leg-spin but got wrong-footed as the ball spun back in sharply to dismantle his stumps.
Here’s the video:
Googly /ˈguːgli/ [noun]
Definition: Off break bowled with apparent leg-break action
Example: Adil Rashid
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) August 1, 2020
The leg-spinner has sent back O’Brien for the second time in as many matches in the ongoing series.
The last match of the series will be played on Tuesday (August 4) at the same venue.