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Stormont: 13 June, 2006

England 301-7 beat Ireland 263-9 by 38 runs

Trescothick's innings provided the backbone for England
Trescothick's innings provided the backbone for England
England warmed up for the one-day series against Sri Lanka with a 38-run win over Ireland in the inaugural match between the two sides at Stormont.

Marcus Trescothick (113) and Ian Bell (80) put on 142 in 28 overs to take England to a total of 301-7.

The hosts replied with a creditable 263-9, Steve Harmison taking 3-57.

For Ireland, medium-pacers Dave Langford-Smith and John Mooney each took three wickets and South African-born Andre Botha hit 52.

The most worrying aspects of England's performance were the ground-fielding, which was sloppy throughout, and the upper order batting.

Three men were dismissed cheaply in the first 14 overs.

We didn't hit our straps as we would like to but there are a lot of positives and we are pretty happy

Andrew Strauss

By contrast, Ireland, though predictably second best in the other areas of the game, fielded superbly.

Their bowlers were not fast enough to cause England's batsmen serious problems - despite the early wickets which owed more to loose shot-making.

But their batsmen really made the visitors work for the wickets and there will be concerns about the penetration of England's bowling.

England captain Strauss elected to bat first on a decent wicket for batting, though it was on the slow side.

The trio to fail early on comprised Ed Joyce, the native Irishman playing against his own team-mates, Strauss himself and Paul Collingwood.

Andre Botha
Ireland's Andre Botha looks to the heavens after getting out

Joyce shrugged off a stomach bug to open the batting - he was one of three England debutants along with the all-rounder Jamie Dalrymple and veteran seamer Glenn Chapple.

But he had barely settled at the crease before top-edging a pull to square-leg.

Strauss then contrived to pull Kevin O'Brien's first delivery, a rank long-hop, hard and straight to Andre Botha.

And when Collingwood drove into the covers for the skipper Trent Johnson to take a fine diving catch off Mooney, England were three wickets down.

It was not what was needed by a new-look side preparing for harder contests against Sri Lanka.

On the plus side, Trescothick was already battering the boundary boards with some sweetly timed cover-drives.

In Bell, he found a partner willing to knuckle down and the pair picked off ones and twos in the middle overs to give the lower order licence to play the big shots.

Trescothick finally gave Mooney another wicket by picking out his brother Paul at long on before Bell fell to the same bowler.

In the final dash for runs, Chapple hit high over long-on for the only six of the innings in Langford-Smith's last over, in which 16 runs were scored.

Geraint Jones finished unbeaten on 20 off 13 balls.


Ireland's batsmen all struggled against Harmison, although he was inconsistent.

He delivered eight wides, two of which cost five runs apiece as they eluded Jones and escaped to the boundary.

When he got it right, his pace and bounce was generally too much for the Ireland batsmen.

Dominick Joyce played on for a duck in the first over, while McCallan and Johnston were slow to get into position and gave easy catches.

Until Harmison began his second spell, however, Botha had conjured two partnerships of note.

Kevin O'Brien and Trent Johnston celebrate a wicket
Kevin O'Brien and Trent Johnston celebrate a wicket

He added 50 with Jeremy Bray and 68 with McCallan, but Liam Plunkett and Sajid Mahmood applied the brakes in economical spells.

Collingwood chipped in with two wickets including Botha's, bowled as he came down the wicket attempting a big heave.

At that point, with the score 135-6 after 29 overs, an early end was in sight.

But Chapple and Collingwood were unable to complete their spells due to minor injuries and Dalrymple's off-spin was fairly innocuous.

As a result, O'Brien and Andrew White added 74 for the seventh wicket before both falling to Bell.

Jones took a smart catch standing up for the second of those Bell wickets before neatly stumping Langford-Smith to provide Dalrymple with his first international wicket.

England were unable to take the final wicket, however, as the match finished on a flat note.

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