England v Ireland, Group D, World Twenty20, Providence May 4, 2010

This time, fickle weather works for England

England progress having played two vastly different innings, bowled 9.2 overs and taken three wickets as Ireland retreat home

We will never know whether Ireland could have continued their history of giant-killing at global one-day tournaments, but their impressive bowling, sharp fielding and the fickle Guyana weather certainly made it a tense afternoon for England. For a while it looked like a repeat performance of the West Indies match was on the cards with Ireland set for a much-reduced chase, but this time the rain was heavy enough to force the abandonment that was good enough for Paul Collingwood's team.

The weather has made for an unsatisfactory end to Guyana's part in the World Twenty20 (statistics say May is one of the driest months, but this is still rainforest country) and there was a stage towards the end of this match where the groundstaff were playing a game of hokey cokey with the covers - 'in out, in out, shake it all about.' Every effort was made to restart the game, and Providence's impressive drainage system earned its keep, but with Ireland about to resume a nine-over match - where they would have needed a further 47 off 33 balls - a final burst had the teams shaking hands.

William Porterfield was left rueful, and showed the utmost confidence that his side could have reached the target, while Collingwood was left relieved. When the players went off for the first stoppage of the innings after 1.2 overs Andy Flower, the England coach, was seen banging the table in frustration.

He clearly feared the worst and a large amount of frustration will have stemmed from knowing that an early exit would have meant no more opportunity to prove England have improved considerably in this format. Although there have been a fair few comments about a whinging England team since the West Indies match, two such results would have been a rough way to leave a tournament.

"We were looking at all the different scenarios, at one point we were about to go back on and it would have been 19 in 10 balls or something like and it was like here we go again," Collingwood said. "You just don't want those situations where a couple of edges can go their way.

"Either it comes and washes it out or we get the full 20 overs in because when you have 10 wickets in the hutch and it gets reduced it certainly comes more into their favour. I guess the rain has come at a time that it's got us through to the next stage so it's helped us a little bit."

However, let's not forget that Ireland gave their senior opposition a serious challenge in the first half of the game. George Dockrell, the 17-year-old left-arm spinner, excelled once again with four overs for 19, against a middle order that was explosive one game earlier, and Trent Johnston was miserly in his spell.

"The attitude we took out into the field there was brilliant," Porterfield said. "We just want to get into Super Eights and beat the big teams in there. We came with our sights set on that, and showed glimpses in our performance that we could do that. The way we came out today, after Friday's disappointment, was great. If we can take that into every game, we'll go places."

If it hadn't been for an inventive Irishman, England may have struggled to reach three figures. Eoin Morgan top-scored with 45 off 37 balls, a far different innings from his dazzling display against West Indies, but at least it gave them a target to defend.

"He's a very versatile player, he can play all the shots, but he's also got a good mind on him which is what you need in the middle order especially at No. 5," Collingwood said. "He seems to be reading the situations really well. We thought we could play to the 15th over then hit them hard but it was so hard to get the big shots away. A lot of credit goes to the Ireland bowlers, the wicket seemed to suit them quite well but I'm delighted the way Morgs is going."

When Kevin Pietersen picked out deep midwicket in identical fashion to his dismissal against the hosts - and on the split-screen replay it was hard to tell them apart - the score was 49 for 4. Not the sort of base for an onslaught. This, though, was a different wicket and the brief signs of Ireland's innings, with Paul Stirling wafting at thin air, suggested that Ireland would have had their work cut out.

"We were pretty confident once we got to 120," Collingwood said. "It was probably a 130-wicket and you would have been very happy with that and 140 you'd have been really confident. It could have gone quite close today but there was a bit of turn out there and it was seaming around as well."

So England progress having played two vastly different innings, bowled 9.2 overs and taken three wickets as Ireland retreat home following their extended stay in the Caribbean knowing the collapse for 68 against West Indies did irreparable damage to their run rate. The tournament now moves to Barbados, where there should be more confidence in the weather, but apparently it was raining there on Tuesday as well. Keep those Duckworth-Lewis charts handy.

Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sabir on May 6, 2010, 1:57 GMT

    The easiest way to improve DuckWorth?lewis system is here: presently Duckworth/Lewis system works as under that the minimum scored overs are taken away from the first team batting due to rain effected Match.

    The revised target for West Indies was 60 off 36 balls. Actually it should be 78 off 36 balls.

    S/S(Sabir Shah) Method works like this...... England played 20 overs 191/5..... West Indies played 2.2 overs 30/0..... These overs were played under equal situation(without rain)..... rain washed 15 overs game for West Indies, equal amount of 15 overs after 2.2 overs of England should be washed out. as West indies played last 3.4 overs of their innings, England's last 3.4 overs score should be counted. England scored 54 of last 3.4 overs. and 24 of first 2.2..so add up the totals it should be 78 off 6 overs.....very fair! of course the team playing best should win... if we put the same formula in NewZealand/Zimbabwe match, NewZealand will lose, coz Zimbabwe were better in average

  • Dummy4 on May 5, 2010, 22:31 GMT

    A group stage with groups of only three, followed by another groups stage with groups of 4. Does it make any sense whatsoever? Do we really want a team to be able to scrape through a round of qualification by losing one match via D/L and drawing one in a washout, on NRR?

    Why not just have a single group stage with 2 groups of 6, with the top 2 from each group qualifying for the semis?

  • james on May 5, 2010, 20:45 GMT

    very dissapointed by the rain,wud have been an interesting runchase;50:50 in my book i think n gettable,remember ireland scored 220 in an ODI against d west indies a few weeks ago 140 gainst nzl (T20) so their batting isnt all that ...i am sure if joyce n morgan were playing ireland could gave many a team a regular run for their money

  • Priya on May 5, 2010, 18:20 GMT

    no guys u need to stop blaming everything on rain, its part of the game, and i know it might not be to everyone's liking as the result was not england winning the match, but if other countries have dealt with this manner in deciding a match then surely we can. And let me also express how if england had won the match there would have been no complaints, DL has worked for years, and if everyone wants to get rid of it then let the system be reviewed and changed!!! otherwise the vicious circle of always pondering what the true outcome of a match shall always be a grey area, that shall ALWAYS create doubt.

  • david on May 5, 2010, 17:04 GMT

    seems england are in the firing line today. i think guys from other countries will be hitting the key board if the same thing happens to them we will wait and see. and also i was in oz for the match with S A.in 92. the reason they had to get 22 runs off one ball was because S A bowled their overs too slowly. that was how they decided games were rain interupted play. dpk

  • Dummy4 on May 5, 2010, 10:46 GMT

    May be time to relook at MPO. D/L method replaced MPO after 1992 semi final debacle...

  • Kannan on May 5, 2010, 10:37 GMT

    It would have given me great pleasure had Ireland scored 121 against England... That said, after IPL3, one has a tendency to benchmark all tournaments against it... Where are the crowds, where's the excitement, where are the cheer leaders ( the ones seen in the WI with a gaudy color/dress sense don't count!), where's the ball zipping to the boundary (maybe the grass is too high/thick)?... Just seems to be a damp squib so far!

  • Ankan on May 5, 2010, 8:51 GMT

    happy now, Colly? and you bet you were confident when you got to 120!! thats a joke!

  • Andy on May 5, 2010, 8:27 GMT

    What goes around comes around Colly. Rub of the green this time, bad luck last time. That's how it goes. I'm just disappointed as a spectator as both run-chases would have made for really interesting cricket.

  • Khawaja on May 5, 2010, 6:28 GMT

    I think duckworth lewis has a few kinks that can be ironed out however few teams have scored 25 in the first two overs...the statisticians can easily devise a more cleaner believable duckworth lewis...some other factors need tobe worked in ...the type of wicket, the type of batsmen and how many wickets the team playing second has left...duckworth lewis needs to work in that with a few overs the team playing second can go all out and even score 50 of two overs...difficulty should be similar for both teams and overallscores should be worked in and there should be some advantage for the team playing first and scoring heavily otherwise the team playing second seems to get all the benefits of bad weather in a fewer overs..england too also seem to have an advantage over other teams in changing the nationality of players ...that too should be stopped...with eoin morgan in irelands team they could surely trounce many a side

  • No featured comments at the moment.