England battle to win over Ireland in Dublin one-dayer
|One-day international, Dublin:|
|England 201-8 (42 overs) beat Ireland 117-8 (23 overs) (D/L method)|
England dodged the rain to battle to an 11-run win over Ireland in Dublin.
Set a revised target of 129 from 23 overs, the Irish could only reach 117-8 with Jade Dernbach picking up 3-30.
Earlier, England made 201-8 in 42 overs as Jonathan Trott laboured to make 69 from 105 balls and stand-in captain Eoin Morgan hit a fluent 59.
Ireland were 42-2 when the rain altered the chase and Kevin O'Brien (26) gave them hope, but the contest was as good as over when he was bowled by Dernbach.
A young England team containing debutants James Taylor, Ben Stokes and Scott Borthwick looked less than impressive on a slow pitch at Clontarf, but in the end did enough to ensure the shock World Cup defeat by the Irish was not repeated.
Losing the toss on his return to his home city, Morgan was soon in the middle after Craig Kieswetter edged John Mooney behind and Taylor skied Boyd Rankin to square leg.
After the rain reduced the England innings by eight overs, Morgan was quickly into his stride, making the progress at the other end by Trott, playing his first game since recovering from a shoulder injury, look all the more pedestrian.
Morgan reached 50 in 52 balls and, despite offering a sharp return catch to Nigel Jones, his progress was so serene that it was a surprise when he was caught and bowled off a leading edge by off-spinner Paul Stirling.
The end of his 102-run stand with Morgan could not increase the urgency of Trott's batting, but as Ravi Bopara, Stokes and Samit Patel all fell cheaply, the significance of the Warwickshire man's contribution increased.
He was eventually caught in the deep off Mooney, leaving Borthwick and Chris Woakes to provide some late hitting to take England past 200.
Stirling looked set to give the Ireland chase a flying start when he flat-batted Finn for six in the second over, but the England seamer had his revenge when his Middlesex team-mate skied to cover, with Ed Joyce nicking behind to Kieswetter soon after.
More rain arrived and, when the players returned, the Irish suffered the loss of captain William Porterfield, run out by bowler Borthwick after dawdling over returning to his ground.
O'Brien, the hero of Ireland's famous win in Bangalore, announced his arrival with successive sixes off Borthwick that appeared to put the hosts back in the hunt for another surprise win.
But Dernbach had wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien caught in the deep and followed that up by yorking Kevin O'Brien.
From there, England had enough quality to suck the life out of the Irish chase.