ICC World Twenty20, Guyana: England 120-8 (20 overs) v Ireland 14-1 (3.3 overs) - no result Match scorecard
By Jamie Lillywhite
With wickets falling around him Morgan ensured England had a total to defend
England edged into the Super Eight phase of the ICC World Twenty20 after their match with Ireland ended in a no result because of rain in Guyana.
They were restricted to 120-8 with only nine fours and a six, and were indebted to Irish-born Eoin Morgan, who made a composed 45, falling in the final over.
Ireland were 14-1 from three-and-a-half overs in two spells as rain intervened.
Five overs were needed to constitute a match but rain continued and Ireland were eliminated in cruel fashion.
"I guess the rain's come around today at a time that's got us through to the next stage," admitted captain Paul Collingwood.
"It didn't help us yesterday but today I guess it's helped us a little bit. There was certainly a bit of turn out there and it was seaming around as well and a lot different to the wicket we played on the other day."
Following the peculiarities of the Duckworth-Lewis method that resulted in defeat against West Indies on Monday, England were the recipients of good fortune as the abandonment took them through on run-rate.
They had to avoid defeat against the Irish, but were surprised by both the conditions and the opposition.
Ireland were spirited and tenacious, reminiscent of their 2007 World Cup campaign when they progressed to the Super Eight phase and defeated Pakistan and Bangladesh along the way.
The pitch was different to the one used for Monday's match with West Indies, when England plundered 10 fours and 11 sixes, but few who witnessed that innings could have imagined that there would be 54 dot balls against Ireland.
Had they seen New Zealand's earlier rain-affected victory over Zimbabwe, however, they would have noted how Tuesday's surface favoured the slower bowlers and that there was appreciable movement available for the spinners and seamers.
Things did not start well for Collingwood's team when they were asked to bat first having lost the toss, bringing back the threat of a surprise Duckworth-Lewis target for their opponents.
Craig Kieswetter might have departed for only two in the third over when teenager George Dockrell spilled a diving attempt at fine-leg.
Andre Botha then spilled a routine slip catch, much to Trent Johnston's horror, when Kieswetter edged on six, but from the first ball of the next over Ireland struck when Michael Lumb flicked Kevin O'Brien's opening delivery off his pads and Boyd Rankin pouched the low chance at short fine leg.
Kieswetter's luck ran out when he called for a suicidal run having hit straight to short mid-wicket, Kevin Pietersen rightly refused and the wicketkeeper-batsman was given out after lengthy video referrals which finally concluded his bat had bounced into the air when he dived for his crease as Niall O'Brien whipped off the bails.
Three balls later, Collingwood edged a sharply seaming leg-cutter from Johnston, Botha this time made no mistake with the catch and England closed the powerplay phase on 32-3.
In the 10th over, Pietersen departed in a near carbon copy of his dismissal against the West Indies when he pulled O'Brien straight to deep mid-wicket, and at the halfway stage England were just 49-4.
England's anxiety was evident as Dockrell sent down five dot balls and Wright top-edged a sweep that landed between the keeper and the third man fielder.
Wright thumped O'Brien down the ground for the solitary six of the innings from the final ball of the 16th over but fell two balls later as Rankin returned and the Sussex all-rounder could only spoon off the toe end of the bat to extra cover.
England's first 50 took 62 balls, but with Morgan chipping intelligently into the gaps, the second was brought up in 44 as the 100 was eventually recorded in the 18th over.
There was little opportunity for improvisation but one notable moment followed when Rankin sent a full toss well wide of off-stump and Morgan somehow managed to get outside the ball and flip it over his shoulder to the fine-leg fence.
His partners were not providing the support required, however, and Tim Bresnan lofted straight to long-off, before in the final over Morgan mis-timed a drive and found long-on, and Michael Yardy was run out by a superb direct hit from Johnston from the deep.
Collingwood added: "I'm absolutely delighted the way Morgs is going and progressing as a player.
"He's got the power, he can play all the shots but he's also got a good mind and that's what you need in the middle order. You've got to adjust to the situation, and he seems to be reading it pretty well."
Ireland had a shade more than a run-a-ball to chase, but eight deliveries into their reply the heavens opened again, although no overs were lost after a short delay.
The resumption lasted only 13 balls, but in that time Lumb produced a great catch, sprinting 20 yards along the square leg boundary before diving full stretch to take Paul Stirling's pull shot.
Rain returned, there was a brief lull during which a target of 47 more runs from 33 balls was announced but the resumption needed to be made by 2159 BST and with showers continuing the match was abandoned.
Ireland captain William Porterfield said: "If the rain hadn't come we were pretty confident chasing down 120 that we could knock it off. But it's just one of those things.
"We just want to get into Super Eights and beat the big teams. We came with our sights set on that, and showed glimpses in our performance that we could do that.
"If we can take that into every game, we'll go places."
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.