DUBLIN: Jofra Archer celebrated his international debut with a wicket and a sharp catch as England bowled Ireland out for 198 in their one-off ODI.
Archer’s wicket was a gem, ending a decent knock by Ireland debutant Mark Adair – who scored 32 off 30 balls in an attempt to lift his struggling side – with a 90 mph ball that went clean through the batsman and uprooted off stump. Earlier, Archer had taken a superb diving catch to hand Tom Curran England’s first wicket of the innings, dismissing a dangerous-looking Paul Stirling.
But it was Liam Plunkett who was the pick of the England bowlers, claiming 4 for 35 off his seven overs, including two wickets in as many balls, while Curran chimed in with 3 for 35 off 8.1 overs to set their side a target of 199 for victory after bowling the hosts out with 11 balls of the 45-over innings remaining.
England the toss and put Ireland in after the match was delayed by hours and reduced to 45 overs per side after overnight rain left a soggy outfield with particular concerns over areas at backward point and the bowlers’ run-up at one end. The match was due to start at 10.45am local time but two pitch inspections eventually allowed play to begin at 12.45pm.
England handed debuts to three players, which included the highly anticipated first appearance of Archer in an England shirt. Dawid Malan also made his debut, set to open alongside James Vince with Jason Roy injured, Jonny Bairstow rested and Alex Hales omitted. Ben Foakes, who has been in good touch for Surrey despite the county struggling desperately in long and short formats, was also rewarded with a maiden ODI cap.
Ireland also fielded three debutants, with former Warwickshire allrounder Adair coming in for the injured Stuart Thompson, joining 19-year-old left-armer Josh Little and Lorcan Tucker. Interestingly, Archer opened the bowling in tandem with David Willey, who in March – shortly before Archer qualified to represent England – appeared to question whether picking the Barbados-born talent could destabilise England’s World Cup squad.
Archer, who has not been named in England’s preliminary World Cup squad has a chance to press his claims for a late inclusion from this match plus, if selected, a T20 and five one-dayers against Pakistan. His first ball in international cricket was drilled to the boundary by Stirling and the first ball of his second over met with a similar fate thanks to a hearty Stirling drive.
Willey was met with a similarly terse welcome to Dublin, William Porterfield surviving an lbw appeal on the second ball of the innings which, upon England’s review, appeared to be only fractionally high at best, and, two overs later, Porterfield lofted him high over fine leg for six as the Ireland openers dug in.
At the end of the first Powerplay, Ireland were 46 with out loss. Curran entered the attack and struck in his second over, with the help of Archer, to dismiss Stirling, who had played well for his 33 off 44 deliveries. Stirling’s knock came to an end when he looked to hit Curran over the infield but slapped the ball towards mid-on where Archer went diving forwards to get his fingers under the ball and cling on just before it struck the ground.