England brushed aside Ireland with ease in the first ODI contest between the sides, securing a comfortable seven-wicket win at Bristol.
William Porterfield’s men won the toss and got off to a bright start with openers Ed Joyce and Paul Stirling scoring early boundaries to put the Three Lions on the back foot.
However, Mark Wood notched the breakthrough by dismissing Stirling before David Willey removed Joyce to stymie Ireland’s early momentum.
Spin came into the equation when Adil Rashid and Joe Root were thrown into the attack, and the duo turned the screw on the Irish batting line-up.
Rashid used his variations to great effect to claim his first five-wicket haul in ODI cricket, bowling out Ireland for a meagre total of 126.
Despite losing Jason Roy early in their reply, England were able to knock off the total without having to get out of first gear, with Alex Hales top-scoring with 55.
The Three Lions will be eager to wrap up the series with another victory at Lord’s, handing them momentum to take into their matches against South Africa before the ICC Champions Trophy.
We’ll now take a look at the options for the second ODI and break down the best betting odds.
England’s Top Batsman
Hales rose to the occasion and delivered on our tip in the first ODI. He was given a life by Niall O’Brien when he was dropped early in his innings, and he made the Irish wicket-keeper pay for his mistake as he drove England to victory with an array of powerful shots around the ground.
The 28-year-old scored his seventh half-century in ODI cricket, continuing his good form built up from his century against the West Indies in his last outing.
Hales is slowly becoming one of the leading openers in limited-overs cricket and will be determined to showcase his talent by impressing at the ICC Champions Trophy.
Another strong performance against Ireland will send him into the clashes against South Africa with confidence and should he repeat the quality of his outing from the first ODI he is a strong candidate to lead the way once again for Eoin Morgan’s men.
Competition will come from Joe Root, who was at the top of his game in Bristol, scoring an unbeaten 49. He remains England’s premier player in all formats of the game and is always a leading contender to top score for the Three Lions given his quality at the crease.
He has been in good form for Yorkshire on the county circuit and appeared at ease during run chase in his side’s comfortable victory.
Both players should be in and around the top score at Lord’s, but backing Hales at 11/43.75+2752.752.75-0.36 presents good value with SkyBet due to his position as opener – where he could have more time than Root to build an innings.
England’s Top Bowler
Rashid had a tough time over the winter against India as he taken to task by aggressive batting from Virat Kohli and company.
The 29-year-old appeared to lose his confidence as the tour progressed, although he was able to bounce back with a strong showing in the series win over the West Indies.
The leg-spinner performed well for Yorkshire against Lancashire to build form ahead of the first ODI, but he managed to elevate his game to the height of its powers in Bristol.
Rashid’s confidence allowed him to use his variations to torment Ireland’s batting line-up, with seemingly no batsman being capable of picking his googly, which saw him rip through the card to claim his first five-wicket haul in ODIs.
Given his dominance Rashid will be a strong contender to rack up the wickets again for the Three Lions, although a lot will depend on the pitch at Lord’s.
Wood made his return to the fold after a lengthy absence due to injury. The 27-year-old missed the series against India over the winter and England’s win in the Caribbean with an ankle injury.
His lightning pace was missed by the Three Lions, who were in need of an alternative option, especially in the sub-continent. However, he delivered against Ireland with an early strike to remove Stirling and opening the path of Rashid to dismiss the middle order.
Porterfield’s men did not bat well in Bristol and will be eager to provide a response at Lord’s. Wood’s pace will provide problems in any conditions and he should be able to strike with regularity, with odds of 3/14.00+3003.003.00-0.33 to lead the wicket column with William Hill.
England barely had to get out of first gear to beat Ireland in the first ODI, with Morgan’s side being able to canter to victory inside 20 overs of their chase.
Ireland will be desperate to respond to their poor performance, and although they did struggle with the quality of the Three Lions’ attack – their batting line-up should at the least be able to surpass the 200-run mark to make life a little more challenging for their opponents.
There are enough players in the Ireland team to pose the question to England, with Joyce, Porterfield and Stirling all getting starts to their innings. However, none of them were able to kick on and establish themselves at the crease.
Conditions should not be as favourable towards spin bowling at Lord’s, which should help the Irish quell the threat of Rashid. Dealing with the pace of Wood will be vital – should they see off those two bowlers there’s an opportunity for Porterfield’s men to make a game out of it.
Peter Chase had a solid outing as he claimed three wickets, but he will need support from the rest of the bowling attack to keep the powerful England batting line-up in check. However, it’s hard to see anything other than a comfortable victory for the Three Lions, with odds of 1/141.07-14000.07-14.000.07 with Bet365.
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Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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