The hover cover is on
Ireland have won the toss, they’re batting
Welcome to the second ODI between England and Ireland and welcome to the bio-bubble at Southampton where I’m coming to you from this afternoon. It’s a sticky and almost steamy, plenty of cloud cover and I’m afraid to say there has been some rain about. However, the sun is now shining ahead of the toss in about 20 minutes.
The hosts easily accounted for Andy Balbirnie’s men in the opener, winning by six wickets with 22 overs remaining. The damage was done early, recuding Ireland to 28/5 after sending them in. After that frenetic start, debutant Curtis Campher (a great story, which I’ll tell you more about as we go) settled in to bat through for an unbeaten 59, getting the visitors to 174. It wasn’t the most convincing chase early, but Sam Billings (67 not out) and Eoin Morgan took care of business.
In terms of selection, the main point of discussion is the fact that they are playing on the same surface as two days ago. It was slow then, taking to turn, so it should jag today. On that basis, Ireland have brought left-arm tweaker George Dockrell into their squad, seamer Barry McCarthy ruled out with a knee injury. For England, Liam Livingstone makes the 14 at the expense of Joe Denly, who has a bad back.
Watching warm-ups in front of me, I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if Reece Topley is brought in for his first international since 2016. The left-armer had has more operations on his back than hot meals over the last few years – this is quite the comeback tale. Maybe in for Tom Curran? Rotation, rotation, rotation.