Southampton, July 31: England beat Ireland by 6 wickets with 22.1 overs to spare in the 1st ODI in Southampton on Thursday. Sam Billings (67*) and David Willey (5/30) both produced their career-best ODI figures as England recovered from an early scare in their chase of 173 to post what turned out to be an easy win.
Ireland got off to a horrible start but recovered to post 172 in 44.4 overs. Debutant Curtis Campher, who remained unbeaten on 59, was the highest scorer from the Irish team. Willey picked up the big wickets of Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie in his first two overs. Ireland lost half their side by the 7th over. Curtis Campher put on a 51-run stand with Kevin O’ Brien to put on an Irish Resistance. He took Ireland across 100 in the 31st over. He became just the third Ireland player to score a 50 on ODI debut (opposition captain Eoin Morgan had been the first, in 2006). In their chase, England scored briskly but kept losing regular wickets, being in trouble at 78/4 at one stage. However, Morgan and Billings put on a 96-run stand to take the home team to victory.-Agencies