England fell into the 2022 T20 World Cup on Wednesday with a stunning five-run loss to Ireland, leaving the race for a spot in the Group 1 semi-finals wide open. Chasing a goal of 158, England were limited to a score of 105/5 in 14.3 overs before rain caused the game to be cancelled. The par score for them according to the DLS method was 110, meaning Ireland managed to take a famous win over England.
The defeat is arguably the biggest surprise of the tournament yet, with Ireland playing in the Super 12 of the T20 World Cup for the first time ever and star-studded England favorites to win the trophy. It prompted a number of reactions, including veteran spinner Amit Mishra, who decided to take a dip in England based on the recent debates surrounding the ‘Spirit of Cricket’. “Congratulations @cricketireland on a huge win. I hope England don’t say that winning via DLS isn’t in the spirit of the game,” Mishra said in a tweet.
Mishra’s dig is based on the fact that a number of former and current England players had said they wouldn’t mind a bowler knocking out a batter at the non-striker if the latter backed too far before the former delivered the ball.
England’s chances of qualifying for the semi-finals have taken a beating with their shocking loss to Ireland. They now face champions and traditional rivals Australia in the MCG on Friday, a virtual knockout for both.
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It wasn’t until the second T20 game between England and Ireland – the first was washed out during the 2010 World Cup in the West Indies – that England’s pursuit started disastrously. After the sacking of captain Jos Buttler, Josh Little caught out-of-form Alex Hales for seven with a misplaced pull.
With Ben Stokes bowled for six by Fionn Hand, England were reduced to 29 for three before the end of the power play. It could have been worse had Dawid Malan not been dropped by Gareth Delany at 23, the Irishman’s second spill after grabbing Hales early on. Three balls later, however, Delany made up for it by catching a struggling Harry Brook for 18 from George Dockrell.
Malan then fell for 35 with a miscued pull caught by deep third man from Barry McCarthy’s bowling alley. Although the wickets hardly helped, England were in no hurry until Moeen came in and started throwing the bat around. He hammered a six and three fours to give England a chance to fight as the clouds gathered over the stadium. A few more balls and Moeen could have pushed his team to victory. But it was all for nothing.