x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Morgan and Bopara come good for England in Ireland ODI

Fifth-wcket pair bail out team and make amends for Champions Trophy debacle.

The heroics of England's middle order meant William Porterfield's century went in vain for Ireland. Getty Images
The heroics of England's middle order meant William Porterfield's century went in vain for Ireland. Getty Images

Eoin Morgan, the England captain, was pleased to make a return to form as he and Ravi Bopara hit centuries to seal a six-wicket victory against Ireland in a one-day international at Malahide.

Playing at the ground he grew up on, the Dublin-born Morgan combined with Bopara for an ODI record fifth-wicket stand of 226 in 169 balls.

They had come together with England in trouble, at 48 for four, after the Ireland captain Will Porterfield's century helped the hosts post 269 for seven.

But Morgan, who had not passed 50 in his previous 19 ODIs, took charge alongside Bopara to ensure they will be in peak form ahead of the five-game series against Australia.

"Time in the middle as a batsman is crucial going into big series," Morgan said.

"I was more nervous in the changing-room than I was in the middle. The wicket was tough and challenging. It was a challenge with ball and bat."

It was England's first ODI since the Champions Trophy final against India, when Morgan and Bopara were out from consecutive deliveries to prompt a late collapse that cost victory.

Morgan also offered praise for Ireland who saw another of their former number, Boyd Rankin, take four wickets in his ODI debut for England.

A record sell-out crowd of 10,000 watched at Irish cricket's new headquarters, which were showcased on the international stage for the first time.

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