Bristol: Ireland begin a two-match first One-Day International series against England – a first between the two sides - in Bristol on Friday (May 5) hoping to pull off at least one more win over its more illustrious opponent.
The series, which concludes with the game at Lord's – another first for Ireland – on Sunday, comes six years after its stunning ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 win over England in Bangalore. Kevin O’Brien hit a century off just 50 balls then as Ireland won by three wickets. That remains Ireland's only win over England in six completed ODIs.
A lot has changed in Irish cricket since then, but the core of its team, especially the batting, remains more or less the same.
The order for Ireland then was William Porterfield, Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Niall O’Brien and Gary Wilson, with Kevin O’Brien at No. 6, and all of them are a part of the 14-man squad for the England series. The other player from that XI in the present setup is George Dockrell, the left-arm spinner.
So there’s experience in the Ireland lineup, and familiarity with the conditions at the two venues too, with Tim Murtagh, the paceman, and Stirling playing alongside Eoin Morgan, England’s captain, at Middlesex, and Kevin O’Brien as well as John Bracewell, the coach, having spent time with Gloucestershire.
Up against Ireland is a set of players that are short-format specialists, men who have come together to revive English limited-overs cricket after a poor ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
Since the beginning of the 2016-17 season, England has won all but one ODI series it has played. It beat Sri Lanka and Pakistan at home 3-0 and 3-1 respectively, then won 2-1 away in Bangladesh, and after going down 1-2 in India, it beat the West Indies 3-0 in the Caribbean.
England has allowed Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes to continue with their Indian Premier League journeys for the moment, but Morgan, along with Sam Billings and Jason Roy, have returned home, while Steven Finn and Ben Duckett have been added to make up for the absence of the IPL trio.
England: Eoin Morgan (capt), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Ben Duckett, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, David Willey, Mark Wood.
Ireland: William Porterfield (capt), Andy Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Gary Wilson, Craig Young.
Stats and trivia
England's last two fixtures at Bristol have failed to be completed. The match against India was abandoned in 2014, while there was no result against Sri Lanka last year.
Friday May 5, 2017
Start time 1100 local (1000 GMT)