Twice in as many days, Curtis Campher went from new kid to leader of the pack.

Now, as Ireland prepare to stem the tide of a looming clean sweep at the hands of England in their third and final ODI on Tuesday, they know where to turn.

Campher, the 21-year-old South African import who joined Ireland this year, top scored for his adopted nation with an unbeaten 59 during his senior international debut - only his second List A game - in Thursday's opening match of the series at the Ageas Bowl, won comfortably by the hosts.

In Saturday's second ODI, he was again Ireland's leading run-scorer with 68 in a losing cause.

Both times, he hauled Ireland out of serious trouble, pushing their total into respectable territory after the top order had struggled. Both times, his efforts were in vain against an England side which remains formidable despite missing several of its World Cup champions.

And Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie realises his side can learn from the youngster, who boasts a strong South Africa Under-19s pedigree.

"It's tricky, for the second time in a row we haven't given them a total to bowl against," Balbirnie said. "It was simply down to the batting. We're going to have to sort it out.

"I don't think we've played the greatest shots in the world, particularly myself. I can't really put my finger on it, whether it's rustiness or time in the middle, but Curtis doesn't seem to be struggling so maybe it's worth having a chat to him over the next couple of days."

Ireland's top six managed just 49 runs between them in the first ODI against England and 79 in the second. Among them were the young and relatively inexperienced trio of Harry Tector, who also made his ODI debut in the first match of this series, Gareth Delany and Lorcan Tucker, but also the vastly experienced Balbirnie, Paul Stirling and Kevin O'Brien.

Balbirnie suggested Campher was pressing his case for promotion up the order.

"We need to find a bit of rhythm," Balbirnie said. "It's going to be a new wicket for the next ODI, so we're going to have to have a sit-down and an honest chat.

"He's batting at No. 7 now but I'm sure he's putting a bit of pressure to go up the order. He looks at home. His tempo was very good. He built a nice innings and got us to a respectable total and gave us something to bowl at. He's really impressed all of us on a day-to-day basis."

Campher has displayed his credentials as a true allrounder by playing almost as impressively as a bowler against England.

In both matches he dismissed Tom Banton, having also claimed his wicket during an Under-19s match two years ago, and he bowled James Vince on Saturday with a sharp nipbacker that clattered into middle stump.

"He's a great person to captain because you talk to him and he'll tell you exactly what he wants to try and do and you can set fields to that," Balbirnie said. "He's got that ability to change the game with the ball.

"He's not the tallest guy in the world but he can get one to rise or skid under. He's been such an impact player for us. I can't really find any faults in him. He's got that dogged fight and people want to play with him, bat around him, bowl in partnerships with him."

Meanwhile, Josh Little, the Ireland quick who took three wickets in the second ODI, received a formal reprimand and one demerit point for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct when he gave Man of the Match Jonny Bairstow a verbal send off.

Little was found to have breached Article 2.5 of the code relating to "using actions or gestures which disparage or which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batter upon his dismissal" when he had Bairstow caught behind following a rapid-fire 82 off just 41 balls.

"The incident occurred in the 16th over of England's innings, when Little used inappropriate language towards Jonny Bairstow upon his dismissal," the ICC said in a statement on Sunday. "Little admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by match referee Phil Whitticase and as such, there was no need for a formal hearing."

Valkerie Baynes is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo