Ben Foakes stars as England survives Ireland scare

On his One-Day International debut for England, Ben Foakes made an unbeaten half-century to see England through to a successful run chase.

Ben Foakes plays the ball onto the onside and takes a run during his unbeaten knock of 61 against Ireland.   -  AFP

Ben Foakes' unbeaten 61 on his debut helped England recover from a top-order collapse to beat Ireland by four wickets in the only one-day international in Dublin on Friday.

England, the world's top-ranked side in ODI cricket and the host of the 50-over World Cup starting later this month, collapsed to 66 for five chasing a modest 199 for victory.

It was still in trouble in a match at Malahide reduced to 45 overs per side by a wet outfield when teenage debutant left-arm quick Josh Little took his fourth wicket.

England was now 101 for six against an Ireland side which has not qualified for the World Cup

But wicketkeeper Foakes and Surrey team-mate Tom Curran (47 not out) saw England home with an unbroken stand of 98 as the visitor won with three overs to spare.

Victory in its opening match of the season saw England avoid the embarrassment of a fresh defeat by a side controversially excluded from an upcoming World Cup now reduced to 10 teams following its shock loss away to Scotland in the qualifying tournament last year.

And for Ireland this result meant they did not enjoy another win over England to set alongside their triumph at the 2011 World Cup.

Things might have been different had Foakes, on 37, not survived a tight lbw appeal from veteran Ireland paceman Tim Murtagh.

But Ireland opted against a review, with replays suggesting the ball may have gone on to hit leg stump.

England were without two experienced top-order batsmen in the injured Jason Roy and the axed Alex Hales, sent into international exile after reportedly failing a second test for recreational drug use.

James Vince and Dawid Malan, two of the batsmen looking to replace Vince in England's World Cup squad, opened the innings.

When Vince (18) pulled Little to mid-wicket, England were 34 for one.

New batsman Joe Root was soon out for seven, the England Test captain falling lbw to Murtagh.

Little struck again when he dismissed Eoin Morgan for a duck after the Dublin-born England captain could only fend a brilliant bouncer behind to Gary Wilson.

Wicketkeeper Wilson, in his 100th match at this level, then held an even better catch -- a diving one-handed grab high to his left -- as Malan (24) slashed at Little.

David Willey helped staunch the flow of wickets before he holed out to long log off Little, who finished with fine figures of four for 45

Earlier, Liam Plunkett took four for 35 in an Ireland innings where paceman Jofra Archer marked his England debut with a wicket.

Barbados-born Archer, whose first ball in international cricket was hit for four by Paul Stirling, produced a 90.3mph yorker to bowl Mark Adair.

Ireland openers William Porterfield and Stirling put on 55 for the first wicket.

But when Archer held a diving catch at mid-on off Curran to dismiss Stirling for 33, it was the start of a slump that saw Ireland decline to 77 for four.

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

Read the Free eBook

  Dugout videos