Ireland stun England in T20 World Cup after rain intervenes in Melbourne

Jos Buttler's team were five runs short of DLS target when weather forced the match to be called off

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Ireland pulled off the biggest shock of the 2022 T20 World Cup so far as they defeated England by five runs in a rain-curtailed match in Melbourne on Wednesday.

England were 105-5 midway through the 15th over chasing 158 for victory, with Moeen Ali 24 not out and Liam Livingstone on one at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. England were five runs behind on the DLS scoring method when the match was called off.

With rain also having delayed the start, the match could not be restarted after about 15 minutes of interruption, leaving Ireland with an unlikely victory and putting England's World Cup hopes in jeopardy.

The result brought back memories of the 2011 50-over World Cup where Ireland famously chased down 328 against England in Bengaluru.

"It's amazing, kind of emotional," said Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie.

"Our message was to just create chances and we know how this England team like to play, if we take every chance then we would be in with a shot.

"This will do a lot to grow the game back home."

Jos Buttler's team had started the World Cup campaign with a win over Afghanistan and were hoping for another victory ahead of Friday's showdown with hosts Australia at the same venue. But Ireland had other plans.

Captain Balbirnie smashed 62 to give the Irish a great start before collapsing to 157 all out with spinner Livingstone and quick Mark Wood taking three wickets apiece.

Balbirnie and Lorcan Tucker (34) shared in an 82-run stand, dishing out particular punishment to Chris Woakes who went for 41 off three overs.

Ireland raced to 92-1 off 10 overs before they collapsed in the second half of the innings.

Wood caught Balbirnie on the finger, with treatment needed. But the Irish captain soldiered on, with both he Tucker regularly finding the boundary.

Their partnership ended when Tucker was run out for 34, with spinner Adil Rashid getting a finger to a Balbirnie drive, which cannoned into the non-strikers' stumps with the batsman out of his crease.

Harry Tector was caught behind by Buttler off Wood two balls later to leave Ireland at 103-3, but Balbirnie stayed cool, reaching his eighth T20 half-century before holing out to Alex Hales off Livingstone.

A yorker from Livingstone removed George Dockrell the next delivery before Wood grabbed his third with Curtis Campher (17) the victim.

Livingstone matched Wood's three-wicket haul when Mark Adair was caught in the deep and Ireland limped to the finish.

In reply, England got off to a terrible start. Captain Buttler edged left-arm pacer Josh Little to the keeper for a second-ball duck while fellow opener Alex Hales also fell to the quick, failing to capitalise on a dropped chance in the previous delivery and getting out out to a short ball.

Ben Stokes only lasted eight balls, bowled by Fionn Hand, who was preferred to spinner Simi Singh, to leave England in deep trouble.

They crawled to just 64-3 after 10 overs, the halfway point of the innings, and Harry Brook (18) became another victim an over later, pulling George Dockrell to Gareth Delay at midwicket.

Dawid Malan was dropped twice in two balls on 23 but finally fell for a scratchy 35, top edging Barry McCarthy to Hand in the deep.

Ali (24 not out) began hitting out before the rain arrived to end England's hopes.

After the game, Buttler admitted his team were simply outplayed.

"We were not consistent enough, let them score on both sides," Buttler said.

"There were some favourable conditions for bowling, we had everything in our favour, winning the toss and electing to field knowing the weather. We didn't take advantage of that.

"They outplayed us in all three facets of the game and the better team won. We know we have made a mistake here and have put more pressure on us."

Updated: October 26, 2022, 8:52 AM
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