England v Ireland: Hosts stumble to victory in second ODI to seal series win

By Matthew HenryBBC Sport at the Ageas Bowl
Second one-day international, Ageas Bowl, Southampton
Ireland 212-9 (50 overs): Campher 68*, Rashid 3-34
England 216-6 (32.3 overs): Bairstow 82, Willey 47*, Billings 46*; Little 3-60
England won by four wickets

England stumbled against Ireland in the second one-day international but won by four wickets to take an unassailable 2-0 series lead.

Chasing 213 at the Ageas Bowl, the hosts were flying early on, with Jonny Bairstow striking a 41-ball 82.

But when Bairstow fell, Eoin Morgan and Moeen Ali soon followed - all to seamer Josh Little - leaving England 137-6.

It took a 79-run stand by Sam Billings and David Willey to see England home, albeit with 17.3 overs to spare.

Billings ended with an unbeaten 46 and Willey was 47 not out, but the game was closer than had been expected during Ireland's disappointing batting performance, and when Bairstow was powering England to 131-3 inside 13 overs.

Ireland were 91-6 at one stage and had 21-year-old all-rounder Curtis Campher to thank again for taking them to a respectable score. He followed his half-century on debut in the first ODI with 68 and also took 2-44.

For England, Willey backed up his maiden international five-wicket haul on Thursday by taking two more wickets and leg-spinner Adil Rashid claimed an excellent 3-34, including his 150th ODI wicket.

The series finale takes place at the same venue on Tuesday.

England batsmen stutter again

England lost four top-order wickets in chasing 173 in the first match of the series on Thursday, and this was another stuttering batting display from the hosts.

Bairstow's belligerent start - he equalled England's fastest fifty in ODIs by passing the landmark in only 21 balls - ensured there was no need to score quickly, but Morgan and Moeen both fell to attacking strokes without scoring.

It was left to Billings to guide England to victory for the second time in three days, after his 67 not out in the series opener.

He saw off the danger period when Ireland sensed victory and was composed in the anchor role, allowing Willey to play the more aggressive shots, including two sixes on the pull.

Had England collapsed further, it would have wasted a professional bowling performance in which Rashid continued his fine form.

He was the stand-out bowler, but there was also a wicket for Reece Topley on his first England appearance for more than four years, which was deserved after an impressive opening spell in combination with fellow left-arm seamer Willey.

Most ODI wickets for England
James Anderson269
Darren Gough234
Stuart Broad178
Andrew Flintoff168
Adil Rashid150

Fightback not enough for Ireland

Ireland's fightback with the ball was admirable, but their performances earlier cost them the game.

Like on Thursday, Campher came in at number seven after a top-order failure and dragged them to a score that was still well below par.

In the series opener, the Ireland top order looked to attack but on this occasion they looked unsure and were bogged down at 20-2 after 10 overs. In truth, they could have lost more wickets early on.

From there, Ireland's batsmen were either outdone by Rashid or fell to soft dismissals - such as that of captain Andrew Balbirnie, who feathered through a short ball from part-time bowler James Vince to gift the Hampshire batsman a first international wicket.

Campher was impressive again, showing composure in difficult circumstances and sound technique.

Later in his innings, he showed greater range of shots than on debut, going to his half-century with a scoop over short fine leg, before smashing three boundaries in quick succession off Willey, including a brilliant reverse scoop four.

His continued success and the way Little (3-60) responded to being smashed by Bairstow early on were two of few positives.

'Bairstow realises he belongs' - analysis

Ex-England batsman Michael Carberry on BBC Test Match Special: "I have a lot of admiration for Bairstow. I've seen him at the start of his career and his confidence took a bit of a blow in the 2013-14 Ashes.

"He's a really determined hard worker, he's reshaped his technique, and he's come back a more confident player. What he has now is that sense of belonging - he realises now that he belongs at this level.

"Ireland were better today and there were some bright spots in the innings. Curtis Campher has gone about his work so calmly in both innings. They went into their shell until he came in.

"The lack of runs and lack of impetus at the top of the order, has cost. It's always hard to post a total when you're four or five down inside those first 15 overs."

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