Ireland’s cricketers this morning defeated tournament favourites England by five runs to excel at the Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup in Melbourne.
The stunning victory represents a major upset to England, one of the tournament favourites, with a determined Irish side and rain-affected conditions dampening their hopes of progressing from Group 1. England will now likely need to beat Australia, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka in the remaining games to get through.
The English side were 105-5 in the 15th over when the rain started, and with the favourites behind the required rate, Ireland was able to secure a five-run win on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method when the match was called off shortly after.
Following a slip to 86-5, the rain started pouring just as Moeen Ali had begun to bring a little momentum back for England by striking 12 in three balls. However, it came too little, and far too late for England. They will now face a make-or-break match against title holders Australia on Friday at 09:00 BST.
Ireland will play Afghanistan at 05:00 also on Friday at the same venue, with many people now considering them favourites to win.
The win served to boost Ireland’s title hopes in Melbourne, with Ireland captain and POTM Andre Balbirnie describing the victory as “amazing” and “kind of emotional”. He said being able to deliver the brilliant performance in front of family, friends, and spectators from across the world, was “very satisfying” for the inspired Irish side.
“We were slightly disappointed we finished the way we did, losing seven wickets for not a lot. They took the momentum in with them, so our message was to try and create chances because we know how this England team like to play,” Balbirnie said.
“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.”
Eoin Morgan CBE, former captain of the England cricket team from 2015 until June 2022, described the win as “hugely significant” and a huge upset.
“You look back at the upsets in Irish cricketing history and this is right up there,” Morgan said.
“The England team they were playing today is one of the most talented and versatile T20 teams we’ve ever put out, so hugely significant win for Andy Balbirnie and his team.
“They’ve completely out-bowled and out-played England. They’ve been brilliant”, he said.
Sporting News Australia reported Ireland’s triumph as “the biggest upset of the T20 World Cup”.
Ireland have just pulled off the biggest upset of the T20 World Cup, downing England at the MCG.
— 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐍𝐞𝐰𝐬 Australia (@sportingnewsau) October 26, 2022
The win was described as a “memorable” one, with jubilation from delighted Irish fans online. The win was even dubbed one of the most “insane and shocking results” of the tournament so far.
Ireland defeated England. Scotland defeated WestIndies. Namibia defeated SriLanka. India defeated Pakistan. What next? This T20 WorldCup 2022 is coming out with insane and shocking results. #T20WorldCup
— Arfa Feroz Zake (@ArfaSays_) October 26, 2022
Ireland beat 2 time T20 World Cup champions West Indies and 1 time T20 World Champions England in this World Cup.
Memorable, Irish. pic.twitter.com/wlsSFpIbRX
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) October 26, 2022
Meanwhile, English Captain Jos Butler admitted “the better team won today,” adding that his side had simply been “outplayed” by Ireland.
“Especially in the first 10 overs with the ball, I thought we were poor. We were a long way short of where we needed to be and we let Ireland get away,” Butler said, adding:
“I just don’t think we were consistent enough. We let them score both sides of the wicket. There were some favourable conditions and we had everything in our favour. We won the toss electing to field knowing there was this weather was around but we didn’t take advantage of that.
“Ireland outplayed us. The better team won today. We made a mistake here which has put even more pressure on us in a tough group but if you needed a game to get up for it, a must-win game, England and Australia at the MCG is certainly one of those.”