Irish eyes are smiling after boilover World Cup upset win over England

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Ireland have caused one of the biggest upsets in cricket history by beating World Cup favourites England in a major boilover at the MCG.

The rank outsiders outplayed their more-experienced opponents in every aspect of the match before rain stopped play close to the scheduled finished time with England behind on their target score by five runs.

Ireland posted an impressive total of 157 despite being bowled out four balls shy of their 20 overs and then tore through England’s top order to have them 5-105 midway through the 15th over when the umpires called a halt to proceedings.

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It’s a great result for Australia as well, boosting their chances of qualifying for the semi-finals, especially if they beat England at the MCG on Friday night.

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“This is a famous victory for Ireland,” said former England captain Mike Atherton on commentary when the heavens opened to signal the end of the match.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 26: Gareth Delany of Ireland and Dawid Malan of England collide during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup match between England and Ireland at Melbourne Cricket Ground on October 26, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Gareth Delany and Dawid Malan collide. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Josh Little dismissed both England openers cheaply – Jos Buttler for a duck and Alex Hales for seven – before Fionn Hand bowled Ben Stokes for six.

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George Dockrell claimed the wicket of Harry Brook for 18 and Barry McCarthy then snared Dawid Malan for 35 after a couple of dropped catches threatened to give England a reprieve.

In their first official cricket match at the MCG, the Irish were flying at 1-92 from 10 overs after England won the toss.

But Ireland lost two wickets in three balls soon after and that proved crucial as England wrested back control.

The last wicket fell on the second ball of the 20th over.

Captain Andrew Balbirnie top-scored with 62 from 47 balls, including five fours and two sixes.

His second-wicket stand of 82 with Lorcan Tucker took Ireland to 103 in the 12th over and England were under pressure.

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But Tucker was run out for 34 when Adil Rashid deflected Balbirnie’s straight hit off his bowling onto the stumps at the non-striker’s end.

Tucker was backing up too far and it proved a costly stroke of bad luck for the Irish.

Two balls later, Harry Tector was caught behind for a duck and the momentum that Ireland had built – including 18 off the 10th over from Chris Woakes – rapidly disintegrated.

Mark Wood took 3-34 and Liam Livingstone snared 3-17.

Livingstone had Balbirnie caught in the deep in the 16th over and was on a hat-trick when he bowled George Dockrell with his next delivery.

Rain delayed the start of the match, with the players also forced from the field early in Ireland’s innings because of a shower, but there had been no more interruptions.

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