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Willey wows with fifer as England claim an easy win against Ireland in first ODI

England’s David Willey took a career-best 5/30 in the  ODI opener.

Willey wows with fifer as England claim an easy win against Ireland in first ODI

England beat Ireland by 6 wickets with 22.1 overs to spare in the 1st ODI in Southampton on Thursday.

Put to bat first, Ireland were bundled out for paltry 172 in 44.4 overs. Debutant Curtis Campher held firm with an unbeaten 59 on debut to help Irish side put 172 on the board as they once were 79/7.

On the other side, England’s David Willey took a career-best 5/30 in the  ODI opener.

World champions England scored at a good rate in reply but lost four wickets inside the opening 14 overs to give the visitors a sniff of victory.

Sam Billings, a late injury replacement for Kent team-mate Joe Denly, made 67 not out including 11 fours at better than a run-a-ball. Together with World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan, a former Ireland batsman, he shared an unbroken fifth-wicket partnership of 96.

Morgan lauded Willey, who took 4-12 as Ireland slumped to 28-5, by saying: “Given the story of David and where he has been the last year or so since being left out of England’s World Cup squad, it’s a fantastic story and fantastic comeback.”

“He has always showed a lot of heart and soul and today, his skill level was exceptional,” he added after England’s first home ODI since they beat New Zealand in last year’s World Cup final at Lord’s.

Willey, the son of former England batsman and umpire Peter Willey, struck with just the fourth ball of the match when Paul Stirling chipped him to Morgan at midwicket.

Ireland collapsed to 28-5 as Willey ripped through the top order before Campher denied him a hat-trick.

Ireland were in danger of being dismissed for under 100 but all-rounder Curtis Campher held firm with a resilient 59 on debut and was also highest scorer from his side. 

“Curtis Campher was very good, he dug in when he had to and got a decent score,” said Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie. 

“But 170-odd was never going to be enough against England,” the Irish skipper added.

The 21-year-old former South Africa youth international, qualified for Ireland through his mother, went on to an admirable 103-ball fifty.

Kevin O’Brien, whose stunning 50-ball hundred set up Ireland’s remarkable win over England during the 2011 World Cup, made 22 before he holed out off leg-spinner Adil Rashid.

As happened before each of the recent England-West Indies Tests, players from both sides took a knee before play in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign.

England’s red and white-ball fixtures are overlapping in a season cut short by the Covid-19 outbreak and they are maintaining two separate squads, meaning several World Cup winners including Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Archer won’t feature against Ireland.

This was England’s first home ODI since they beat New Zealand in last year’s World Cup final at Lord’s.

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