Ireland took on England in one of sport's great grudge matches on Wednesday morning, in round two of the T20 World Cup in the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground down under.
Just as they did in the ODI World Cup in 2011, Ireland would stun England with a sensational victory, the perfect bounce back from their loss to Sri Lanka in the first game of the second round.
Ireland won after rain prevented any further play, with England unable to match their score through 14.3 overs.
Ireland v England: Shock for old rivals as Irish team bounce back in style
The match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground was decided under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method, after heavy rain curtailed proceedings at the MCG. England were unable to reach the DLS score of 110, which is what Ireland had reached through 14.3 overs, and so the Irish team claimed an historic victory over their old rivals.
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) October 26, 2022
Irish captain Andrew Balbirnie opened the batting, and was the star of the side, as he delivered 62 of Ireland's 157 runs, including 5 fours and 2 sixes. Ireland left England with a tricky score to chase and, thanks in no small part to Balbirnie's performance at the bat, coupled with the tough conditions, it left the English unable to fight back.
— Cricket Ireland (@cricketireland) October 26, 2022
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Ireland captain Balbirnie said of his team's performance:
We managed to ride our luck a bit, take a few wounds and move forward. We were able to get a competitive total and a winning total.
It's amazing and it's kind of emotional because we've never played a game of cricket here and to come and play the tournament favourites with so many big names in the game and put on a show in front of friends, family and a number of people around the world is very satisfying.
The win leaves Ireland in contention to progress from the six-team Group 1, though they will need some big performances in their final three games. They play Afghanistan on Friday morning Irish time, before facing Australia next Monday, and New Zealand on Saturday November 4th.
Only the top two will progress from the group, which makes any Irish progression to the semi-finals unlikely, but the victory over England will not only have given Ireland hope, but have made the tournament successful by any measurement. Progression to the second round, and victory over one of the sport's giants, is a huge step forward for Irish T20 cricket.
England are now left scrapping for survival in the tournament, with three wins needed from their final three games to stay in the T20 World Cup.