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Match Report
Emmet Riordan

Ireland went all the way to the sunny Caribbean only for rain to end their hopes of causing a massive upset over England and making it to the Super Eights of a world event for a third straight time. It was the dampest of endings on every level for Phil Simmons's side at the Providence Stadium in Guyana as the failure to bat five overs of their innings meant no game was possible. So both sides gained a point that sends England through from Group D alongside the West Indies.

Ireland had earlier bowled and fielded brilliantly yet again to restrict England to 120 for eight from their 20 overs, an innings that relied heavily on former Ireland star Eoin Morgan, who made 45 from 37 deliveries. Only eight balls were bowled when the first of the heavy rain showers fell on the Providence Stadium as the teams headed back to the changing rooms with Ireland four without loss.

On the resumption, Paul Stirling's tale of woe continued as he went without scoring to a brilliant catch from Michael Lumb off the bowling of Ryan Sidebottom. Niall O'Brien, on his 100th appearance, showed his intent with back-to-back fours off Sidebottom, but the umpires sent the players in after the next delivery with Ireland on 14 for one.

Each time the covers came off the rain returned, and with the cut-off time of 5pm local time approaching the umpires made the decision that they would not be able to get the players back out in time and the game was called off. It was a terribly disappointing end to a tournament for Ireland, who were once again outstanding in the field.

It wasn't exactly the brightest start, as Boyd Rankin's first ball was dispatched by Lumb after the 6ft 8in opening bowler strayed down the leg side. Trent Johnston also conceded a boundary to the left-hander, but the 36-year-old was unlucky not to strike with the last ball of his second over when Andre Botha dived to his left but failed to get a hand on an edge from Craig Kieswetter.

England's troubles started off the next ball when Lumb, on 14, hit Kevin O'Brien's first delivery to Boyd Rankin at backward square leg, with the Warwickshire man getting down well to take a catch. Having survived a chance, Kieswetter took off on a crazy single after hitting the ball straight to short midwicket where John Mooney pounced and fired it back to Niall O'Brien to whip off the bails as the batsmen dived in.

Both Irish players looked far from confident, but third umpire Asad Rauf, after lengthy deliberation, decided Kieswetter's bat was not grounded when O'Brien broke the stumps and he was sent back to the changing rooms after making 13. That left England on 32 for two, and they would fail to add a run before England skipper Paul Collingwood nicked Johnston to first slip three balls later, with Botha making no mistake second time around.

That brought Morgan to the wicket earlier than he would have expected and with a different role to play from his knock against the West Indies on Monday. It also saw George Dockrell enter the action and the 17-year-old would concede just three runs off his first over.

Johnston finished an excellent spell of one for 14 from his four overs, with Kevin O'Brien replacing him to great effect as Kevin Pietersen pulled him straight to John Mooney on the deep square boundary, an almost carbon copy of his dismissal against the West Indies. Luke Wright joined Morgan at the wicket with the task of rebuilding as England finished the first 10 overs on 49 for four.

Dockrell finished a brilliant spell of four overs for 19 as Morgan and Wright built a steady stand. England may have relished the return of Rankin only for Wright to hole out for 20 as Porterfield took a good catch over his head at mid-off to end a fifth-wicket stand of 41 and leave the score on 90 for five.

Rankin would also claim the scalp of Tim Bresnan in his final over, with Mooney taking the catch at long-off, while Morgan's hopes of a second half-century in the tournament were ended off the third-last ball when Gary Wilson caught him at long on off Botha. Morgan's vital 45 runs came from 37 deliveries and included five fours.

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