• England clinch ODI series over Ireland

    England wrapped up the three-match ODI series against Ireland on Saturday with a tricky four-wicket victory in Southampton.

    Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie won the toss before the start of play and decided to bat first and, as was the case in the first encounter, struggled to get their innings going.

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    David Willey and Adil Rashid did some damage with the ball where Ireland reached 212-9 in their 50 overs, with South African-born Curtis Campher notching his second successive half-century with a well-played 68 down the order.

    In reply, England’s innings got off to the worst possible start when opener Jason Roy was dismissed in the very first over for a duck by Craig Young.

    Jonny Bairstow, though, went on the attack and struck England’s joint-fastest half-century with a 21-ball 50.

    He would eventually depart for a destructive 82 from only 41 deliveries before Campher and Josh Little brought the game back for Ireland with a couple of quick wickets as England slumped to 137-6.

    Sam Billings and Willey, however, steadied the ship once again for the hosts with a valuable 79-run stand that guided England over the line in the 33rd over.

    The final ODI will take place on Tuesday in a day-night encounter at the Rose Bowl.

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    Andre Huisamen