Rely on solid Root to shine at Lord's
Stirling can star for Ireland
Sky Sports 2, 11am
England needed only 20 of their 50 overs to chase down a paltry target of 127 in the first ODI against Ireland in Bristol on Friday and Eoin Morgan’s side are 1-12 to follow up at Lord’s.
Ireland will be desperate for an improved performance at the home of cricket as a combination of poor shot selection and good England bowling saw them bundled out for 126 on Friday.
Adil Rashid took five wickets – Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan, another leg spinner, claimed 16 scalps in five ODIs against Ireland in March – while England’s pace department looks well stocked with David Willey, Mark Wood, Jake Ball, Liam Plunkett and Steven Finn in the squad while Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes are playing in the Indian Premier League.
Backers of Joe Root to be England’s top runscorer were frustrated on Friday – the Test captain finished unbeaten on 49 after Alex Hales had made 55 – but it may be worth going to the well again.
Root looked in typically unruffled form in Bristol, following on from a couple of classy fifties for Yorkshire in the One-Day Cup and 90 not out and 101 in his two previous ODI innings in the West Indies.
He has scored nine fifties and three centuries in 20 ODI knocks since the start of 2016, including 89 out of 255-6 against Pakistan at Lord’s last summer.
Middlesex’s Paul Stirling is set to open the batting for Ireland and local knowledge could help him outscore William Porterfield.
Stirling scored 20 at Bristol – all coming in boundaries – while Porterfield crawled to 13 off 45 balls before tamely holing out off Root.
The Ireland skipper has failed to reach 30 in 16 of his last 22 one-day innings and, while Stirling will always offer chances to opposition bowlers, he is a dangerous ball-striker on a ground he knows well.
J Root top England runscorer
1pt 3-1 Coral
P Stirling to outscore W Porterfield
3pts 5-6 bet365