England survives Ireland scare, reach World Twenty20 Super Eight
England survived a scare from Ireland before rain forced the abandonment of their Group D match and they moved into the Super Eight of the World Twenty20 at the Providence Stadium in Guyana.
Rain that conspired England's downfall against West Indies Monday came back to their rescue after 24 hours as Ireland gave themselves a good chance of scoring an upset restricting England to 120 for eight with some stellar bowling and fielding display after captain William Porterfield decided to bowl.
But only 3.3 overs were bowled in the second half when skies opened up for the second time after the innings break. Ireland were 14 for the loss of one wicket and no play was possible after that.
England would have breathed easy that five overs were not completed as the match would have then settled on the Duckworth Lewis (D/L) method that was held responsible for their loss against West Indies by England captain Paul Collingwood.
The D/L cut off was just 27 runs in five overs for Ireland to knock out England from World Twety20.
Ireland which caused one of the biggest upset in world cricket when they beat Pakistan in the 2007 ODI World Cup in the Caribbean would have fancied their chances against England.
A day after putting up a brilliant batting performance against West Indies, England's inconsistency with the bat came to the fore. And had it not been for the Ireland-born Eoin Morgan (45) and Luke Wright (20), who were the cornerstone in team's batting against West Indies, England were staring at a disaster.
Morgan struck 45 from 37 balls as England struggled for every run on the slow and sticky surface.
Ireland's battery of medium-pacers stifled England's batsmen. Veteran Trent Johnston led the attack bowling a tight line. He claimed the wicket of Collingwood, and gave only 14 runs in his four-over spell.
England openers Michael Lumb and Craig Kieswetter shared 24 runs before the former was out to Kevin O Brien (2-22). Kieswetter was run out and star batsmen Kevin Pietersen's (9 off 18 balls) harrowing time came to an end when he was caught in the deep midwicket off Brien.
England were quickly reduced to four for 49 before Morgan and Wright steadied the innings. But after they were separated, England again lost quick wickets in the final overs with medium fast Boyd Rankin doing the damage.
Ireland's left-arm spinner George Dockrell, who is also tournament's youngest bowler at 17, was impressive with figures of 19 runs from four overs.