Foakes stars as England survive Ireland scare

Ben Foakes’ unbeaten 61 on his debut helped England recover from a top-order collapse to beat Ireland by four wickets in a lone one-day international in Dublin on Friday.

England, the world’s top-ranked side in ODI cricket and the hosts of the 50-over World Cup starting later this month, collapsed to 66 for five chasing a modest 199 for victory.

They were still in trouble in a match at Malahide reduced to 45 overs per side by a wet outfield when teenage debutant left-arm quick Josh Little took his fourth wicket.

England were now 101 for six against an Ireland side who have not qualified for the World Cup.

But wicket-keeper Foakes and Surrey team-mate Tom Curran (47 not out) saw then shared an unbroken stand of 98 as England won with 18 balls to spare.

Victory in their opening match of the season saw England avoid the embarrassment of a fresh defeat by a side controversially excluded from an upcoming World Cup now reduced to 10 teams following their shock loss away to Scotland last year.

And for Ireland this result meant they did not enjoy another win over England to set alongside their triumph at the 2011 World Cup

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