Ireland seal shock T20 World Cup win over England

The rain stopped play in Melbourne, leaving England five runs short of victory.

Ireland win against England
Ireland have taken their second major scalp of the tournament [William West/AFP]

England’s Twenty20 World Cup dreams have suffered a heavy blow with an unexpected five-run defeat to Ireland in the driving Australian rain.

England were 105 for five midway through the 15th over, chasing 158 for victory, with Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone on batting duties at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday when rain stopped play.

After a further 15-minute interruption, the match was abandoned and the DLS scoring system, used in cricket when games cannot run to their full length because of interruption, left England five runs short of their target.

It is their second major win in this tournament after also beating two-time former champions, the West Indies.

England, among the tournament favourites, now face holders Australia at the MCG on Friday in a tough test for their World Cup aspirations.

Earlier, England skipper Jos Buttler sent Ireland in but after a brief delay, they only managed nine balls before rain forced them from the field.

Ireland’s captain Andy Balbirnie smashed 62 to give his team a great start, but they could only manage 157 all out with Livingstone and Mark Wood taking three wickets apiece.

Balbirnie and Lorcan Tucker (34) shared in an 82-run stand, dishing out particular punishment to Chris Woakes who went for 41 off three overs.

Ireland raced to 92-1 off 10 overs before a mid-order collapse led to them being all out with four balls remaining.

In response, England’s batting lineup struggled to get any momentum, slumping to 29 for three with just one boundary in the first five overs as the Irish bowlers found pace and movement.

Eighteen minutes were lost to rain at the beginning of the game and the players were taken off again, this time for good, with England on 105 for five off 14.3 overs just as Moeen Ali was getting into his stride with 24 off 12 balls.

As rain stopped play again, now for the final time, England were deemed five runs behind, handing Ireland a famous victory.

“It’s amazing, kind of emotional,” said man-of-the-match Balbirnie. “Our message was to just create chances and we know how this England team like to play, if we take every chance then we would be in with a shot. This will do a lot to grow the game back home.”

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies