Ireland v England, only ODI, Malahide May 8, 2015

Rain denies young England their chance

Ireland 56 for 4 (Joyce 23*, Wilson 3*) v England - Match abandoned
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

William Porterfield dragged on against England debutant Mark Wood © Getty Images

There was frustration for all involved at Malahide as persistent heavy rain washed out the ODI between Ireland and England with only 18 overs possible. England picked five debutants for the first time since 1996 and saw two of them take wickets as Ireland were reduced to 56 for 4 in murky conditions but the teams were unable to return to the field as the grim weather set in during the afternoon.

England had inserted Ireland under grey skies after their newest ODI captain, James Taylor, called correctly and Mark Wood and David Willey picked up an early wicket apiece to go with their new caps. There was much anticipation to see how Jason Roy, James Vince and Zafar Ansari would fare as well but England's XI for the future will have to stay there for now.

Ireland were hoping to beat England at home for the first time and a healthy crowd was expected to cheer them on against callow opposition. It was therefore a great shame that the temporary stands at Malahide were soon left empty. The match got underway on time and play continued through the drizzle until around midday, when the umpires called a halt, but the volume of rain was too much for an outfield that had been doused during the week and the abandonment was confirmed shortly after 3pm.

In the limited time available, England's next generation will feel they gave a good account of themselves. This was an opportunity to move on from a winter of struggle in white-ball cricket, although Sam Billings, one of the most exciting talents in the squad, was perhaps surprisingly left out. England did include Adil Rashid for the first time in six years, as well as Jonny Bairstow, who played his last ODI in 2012, and he produced a smart bit of work to bring about the first wicket.

One of England's boxfresh internationals, Wood, opened the bowling and in tandem with the most experienced member of the side, Tim Bresnan, kept a check on Ireland's early scoring. It was a desire to get the scoreboard ticking that resulted in the breakthrough, in the fourth over, as William Porterfield called his partner Paul Stirling for a quick single. Porterfield was running to the danger end but Stirling was slow to react as the ball fell behind him and Bairstow's direct hit had him a couple of yards short.

Wood bowled a tight line, with his speed getting up towards 90mph, and he claimed his maiden international wicket when Porterfield dragged a cut on to his stumps, again looking to force the pace. Wood might have had Niall O'Brien, too, but Alex Hales fluffed a straightforward chance at gully in between a couple of smartly pulled fours as the bowler dropped short.

On a slow, seaming pitch, Ed Joyce was particularly diligent, though an edge off Bresnan fell short of Bairstow. England thought he had been caught behind on 8 but umpire Mark Hawthorne correctly ruled that a seaming Bresnan delivery had flicked Joyce's back pad. Bresnan did have success, on his first England appearance in over a year, when he induced a loose drive from O'Brien shortly after the end of the Powerplay.

With the change bowlers, Willey and Steven Finn, showing similar discipline, Taylor was able to keep his slips in and there was further reward when Andy Balbirnie was caught driving. Only five runs had come from 29 balls when Balbirnie released some of the pressure with a sweetly struck boundary down the ground but Willey picked up his first wicket for England with his next delivery, Roy taking a sharp chance at second slip. That was practically the last of the action, as the bright new dawn was subsumed by an age-old foe.

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick

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