/ 5 May 2010

Rain in England’s favour as they reach Super Eights

England qualified for the second round Super Eights of the World Twenty20 following a no-result wash-out with Ireland here on Tuesday.

Both sides had previously lost to table-toppers the West Indies, but England went through as the second qualifier on superior run-rate after rain robbed this Group D shoot-out of a winner.

That meant Ireland, who’ve flown the flag for non-Test nations in recent years, paid dearly for their 70-run defeat by the hosts on Friday when they were skittled out for a record tournament low of 68.

Crucially, rain meant Tuesday’s match failed to reach the five-overs-played minimum in the second innings for a result to be declared, with Ireland 14 for one off 3.3 overs when the game unable to resume at the cut-off time of 9.59pm GMT.

It was tough on Ireland, who had given themselves a shot of qualifying and more glory in the Caribbean, having beaten both Bangladesh and Pakistan out of the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies, by restricting England to 120 for eight.

But for England, who made 191 against the West Indies only to lose by eight wickets after a downpour left the home side with a target of 60 in six overs here on Monday, the rules and the rain had turned in their favour.

England captain Paul Collingwood, who’d fumed about the Duckworth-Lewis method for rain-affected matches after Monday’s loss, said: “I guess the rain’s come around today [Tuesday] at a
time that’s got us through to the next stage.

“It didn’t help us yesterday but today I guess it’s helped us a little bit,” the all-rounder added. “It could have got quite close.”

In another twist, former Ireland batsman Eoin Morgan top-scored for England, with 45, the left-hander repairing the early damage, as he had done with a 55 against the West Indies.

No other England batsman made more against Ireland than Luke Wright’s 20, with South Africa-born Kevin Pietersen (nine) and Collingwood (nought), both falling cheaply.

But this time it was Ireland captain William Porterfield who was left feeling frustrated by the weather.

“If the rain hadn’t come we were pretty confident chasing down 120 that we could knock it off,” Porterfield said. “But it’s just one of those things,” he added, his reaction in contrast to Collingwood’s fury on Monday.

Porterfield though was proud of the way his side had performed following their embarrassing start.

“The way we came out today, after Friday’s disappointment, was great. If we can take that into every game, we’ll go places.”

Ireland’s Australia-born paceman Trent Johnston took one wicket for 14 and seamer Kevin O’Brien two for 22 while teenage left-arm spinner George Dockrell conceded a mere 19 runs from his full quota of four overs.

As against the West Indies, England lost the toss and found themselves being sent into bat.

They struggled to 49 for four as Johnston and Dockrell choked off the supply of runs.

But Morgan, in a stand of 41 with Wright, revived the innings with some typically innovative shots before his 37-ball knock featuring five fours ended in the last over.

England can now look forward to starting their Super Eight campaign against either defending champions Pakistan or Australia in Barbados on Thursday. – AFP