About the Match
England began their 2022 World Cup campaign with a win against Afghanistan, which, although convincing enough, still left considerable room for improvement.
On the plus side is the way that they bowled out the Afghans for just 112, with Sam Curran taking 5 – 10 with the ball, whilst their fielding was very sharp. On the other side of the coin, they made harder work than needed of chasing down their target and had the Afghans held on to some of their catches, it might have been a closer contest. There will be some concerns about the way some of their batters struggled against the spin dominated Afghan bowling attack, but making a winning start is the main thing.
Ireland’s own tournament began in the first group stage where they faced Scotland, Zimbabwe and the West Indies. They lost their first game to Zimbabwe, but defeated the Scots, setting up a must win game against the West Indies in Hobart.
There they beat the defending champions by eliminating the two times champions and causing the first major shock of this year’s competition.
However, playing Sri Lanka, who had qualified from the other group in their first match in the Super 12s, they were brought back down to earth with a bump.
After winning the toss and batting first, they struggled to make any headway against tight and economical bowling, and, whilst Harry Tector made 45 and Paul Stirling 34, the rest of the batting line-up failed to make any significant contributions.
A final total of 128/8 never looked like it was a competitive score, and, so it proved, as the Sri Lankans swept to victory inside 15 overs, Kusal Mendis with an unbeaten 68. The manner of the defeat left them with a substantial negative Net Run Rate as well.
England will be hoping that they are coming into form at the right time, after a summer of struggles when they appeared to initially struggle to the transition of captain form Eoin Morgan to Jos Butler.
Winning a best of seven series in Pakistan on their first visit to the country for 17 years helped inject some belief, and they have continued their progress since they arrived in Australia, defeating the hosts on their home patch and beating Pakistan again in another warm-up game.
Ireland have a problem with consistency as they showed prior to the tournament, where the only nation they have beaten in a T20I series this year was Afghanistan at home. As they proved against the West Indies, they are more than capable of a big result on any given day, but find it much more difficult to string a sequence of wins together, perhaps because there is not yet the strength in depth in Irish cricket available to other nations.
England vs Ireland Head to Head
The only previous time they have met in T20 cricket was in the 2010 World Cup in Guyana. That match had to be abandoned because of rain, which was enough to send the English through to the Super 8 stage of that tournament, and they went on to win it for the first, and, to date, only time.
England, though, will be wary of the Irish who have a history of upsetting them in the longer white ball version of the World Cup, defeating them in 2011 in Bengaluru by three wickets.
And, three years ago at Lord’s, the Irish seemed on the verge of a historic test victory until they were bundled out for just 38 in the fourth innings.
And, as Ireland have already proved in this tournament, they like nothing better than a Cup upset.
England vs Ireland Betting Odds
England will be expected to win this match easily, but they need to guard against complacency, especially against a team that has proved in the past to be a thorn in their side. In particular, the English batters need to produce more than they did against the Afghans – it is not possible to rely on bowlers and fielders to win matches every time.
They also know that another two points at this stage strengthens their chances of reaching the knock-out stages.
The Irish have given themselves a mountain to climb after their defeat to the Irish, but they need to just think back to what they did against the West Indies, and draw some lessons from that. They know that, in the right circumstances, their batting line-up is capable of amassing big scores and quickly.