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Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Expectation and trepidation as Ireland head to Lord's

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'We can't play like that at this level' - Porterfield (1:08)

Ireland captain William Porterfield criticises his team for taking a thumping at the hands of England (1:08)

Match facts

May 7, 2017
Start time 1100 local (1000 GMT)

Big picture

With apologies to the County Ground at Bristol, enthusiastic hosts of Ireland's (somewhat underwhelming) first ODI on English soil, this is the big one. A maiden international fixture against England at Lord's - with its Long Room, honours boards, and anticipated 22,000 crowd - is the occasion that Ireland's cricketers have been dreaming about for a decade.

It's a staging post like few others in a team's journey up the pecking order (notwithstanding that Ireland played there against Sri Lanka during the 2009 World T20), replete with the sort of memories that cannot help but inspire any visiting side - Ireland might, for instance, take inspiration from Sri Lanka's maiden Test appearance on the venerable old ground in 1984, when Sidath Wettimuny and Duleep Mendis ignited their country's imagination with a brace of glowing hundreds.

Or, in a nod to their shared ancestry, Ireland's players might take a look up at the ranks of Australian names etched on the dressing-room walls, and remind themselves of how England failed to beat their oldest enemy in a Test match on this ground for a full 75 years between 1934 and 2009.

However, for many of the players in Ireland's ranks, the allure of playing at Lord's stems from the familiarity that it offers, as much as the mystique. Tim Murtagh, their senior seamer, was a mainstay of Middlesex's Championship-winning side, while Paul Stirling is another to ply his more regular trade at Lord's. Andy Balbirnie was on their books for a while, while Ed Joyce was another central figure until his migration down to Hove.

Having fluffed their lines rather chronically in Bristol, Lord's offers home comforts for half the team, bucket-list allure for the remainder, and a chance to relaunch their England expedition for the whole. As William Porterfield, their captain, said in the aftermath of defeat: "You have to be able to get fired up for a game at the Home of Cricket."

None of the above, however, makes their challenge any less forbidding. As their senior players had been gently telegraphing in the lead-up to the tour, this is not a comfortable time for Ireland's creaking squad, and the crushing manner in which England put them in their place on Friday was every bit as emphatic as the doom-mongers had been anticipating.

From an England perspective, the only real disappointment about their seven-wicket win was the lack of game-time that it afforded to their hungry squad. Their bowlers enjoyed a decent run-out, not least the impressive Mark Wood and destructive Adil Rashid, but the batting was a cakewalk, albeit that Jason Roy failed to atone for his fallow workload at the IPL with a first-over duck.

Joe Root and Alex Hales made such light work of a nominal target of 127 that, for all Eoin Morgan claimed he would have bowled first given the choice, you wonder if he'd rather take first use on Sunday, just to ensure the match has to go a longer distance.

These are, however, Good Problems To Have™. Ireland, on the other hand, are the ones with the challenge of rustling up a response. There's no better venue to find one than Lord's.

Form guide

England WWWWW (last five completed matches, most recent first)
Ireland LLWWL

In the spotlight

With his reinforced bowling boot, and burgeoning confidence following a successful reintroduction to the England team on Friday, all eyes will be on Mark Wood as he attempts to back up his exertions with another telling performance. Although he was required to bowl just six overs at Bristol, it was notable how Wood grew into his spell, as he cranked up his speed and hostility with every new delivery. No one doubts Wood's ability, or his importance to England both in this summer's hunt for trophies and in the winter's bid to retain the Ashes. Unfortunately, his susceptibility to injury is very much part of the package he offers. The challenge of coming through two internationals in the space of three days will be a vital indication of his readiness to lead the line at the Champions Trophy.

For a fleeting five-and-a-half overs of the opening ODI, Ireland seemed to have settled into a very promising rhythm. They were 40 without loss and looking set for many more, when Paul Stirling gave himself too much room and was bowled by Wood to open the Irish floodgates. His 20 from 18 balls was a typically frustrating return from a player with talent to burn, but whose shot selection isn't always as adept as his eye. Nevertheless, he is one of several Ireland players with intimate knowledge of the next venue - in fact, only last week, he clattered 71 from 60 balls as Middlesex racked up 341 for 5 against Sussex. What is more, he is the holder of the highest ODI score by a European batsman - his 177 against Canada in 2010. When he gets in, he has the ability to stay in.

Team news

If Rashid was a slight surprise as England's solitary spinner in Bristol, he more than justified his selection with five skilfully worked wickets, as Ireland's blind spot for legspin was ruthlessly exploited once again. Morgan had justified Rashid's selection ahead of Moeen Ali by pointing out his ability to turn the ball both ways, which made him a more versatile weapon for the short boundaries in the first ODI. That aspect is less applicable at Lord's, but he surely won't be left out now.

England: (probable) 1 Jason Roy, 2 Alex Hales, 3 Joe Root, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Jonny Bairstow, 6 Sam Billings, 7 Adil Rashid, 8 David Willey, 9 Liam Plunkett, 10 Jake Ball, 11 Mark Wood

Ireland played the extra batsman at Bristol, but that didn't exactly pay dividends, as they crumbled to 126 all out in 33 overs. The question is whether to stick or twist - keep the same balance in the hope that they'll come up with the goods now that they've got their stage fright out of the way, or reinforce their bowling in a bid to rein in England's ambitions. They may be forced into a change, with John Anderson added to the squad as cover for Niall O'Brien, who has a finger injury. Though Peter Chase provided a crumb of comfort with all three wickets at Bristol, it's hard to see England's batting line-up easing off the accelerator as they head for their most familiar venue. Ireland will simply have to keep up.

Ireland: (probable) 1 William Porterfield (capt), 2 Paul Stirling, 3 Ed Joyce, 4 Andy Balbirnie, 5 Niall O'Brien (wk), 6 Gary Wilson, 7 Kevin O'Brien, 8 Stuart Thompson, 9 George Dockrell, 10 Tim Murtagh, 11 Peter Chase

Pitch and conditions

A brighter day is in prospect but cloud cover is still anticipated and that tends to be a more significant factor at Lord's than the pitch, which is invariably flat and run-laden.

Stats and trivia

  • England have had a mixed record in their recent ODIs at Lord's. In their last 12 matches dating back to 2009, they have won just three, although that does include their most recent, a four-wicket win against Pakistan last August.

  • Kevin O'Brien, who did not bowl in Bristol, but claimed seven wickets in his previous two ODIs against Afghanistan, needs three more to reach 100 ODI wickets.

  • Joe Root, who finished unbeaten on 49 at Bristol, has scored 240 runs for once out in his last three ODIs, following scores of 90* and 101 against West Indies in Antigua in March.

Quotes

"You don't become bad players overnight. It was one bad game, one bad day at the office."
William Porterfield believes his team will raise their games after a poor showing in Bristol

"It was probably up there - I've had a couple of other performances as well. I hope I can now carry it on into the summer."
Adil Rashid rated his maiden five-for among his best displays for England

Ireland 2nd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st68EC JoycePR Stirling
2nd9EC JoyceWTS Porterfield
3rd10WTS PorterfieldA Balbirnie
4th26NJ O'BrienWTS Porterfield
5th41GC WilsonWTS Porterfield
6th24KJ O'BrienWTS Porterfield
7th45WTS PorterfieldGH Dockrell
8th3GH DockrellBJ McCarthy
9th5TJ MurtaghGH Dockrell
10th12GH DockrellPKD Chase