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T20 World Cup: Balbirnie-Tucker stand gives Ireland competitive 157-run total v England

Melbourne, Oct 26 (IANS) Ireland skipper Andy Balbirnie and wicketkeeper-batter Lorcan Tucker strung an 82-run stand to help the side post a competitive 157 all out in 19.2 overs to put England under pressure in the ICC T20 World Cup Super-12 Group 1 game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground here on Wednesday.

Balbirnie (62 off 47) and Tucker (34 off 27) batted intelligently against England’s powerful bowling line-up as Ireland were all out for a 150-plus total in overcast conditions and then reduced England to 24/2 in four overs.

The pair found the boundaries with ease and at one stage had Ireland on track for a score of around 200, before England’s bowlers fought back well late to restrict the damage.

Pace bowler Mark Wood (3/34) was profligate early as he consistently hit speeds greater than 150km/h, while all-rounders Liam Livingstone (3/17) and Sam Curran (2/30) bowled well throughout.

England named the same XI that defeated Afghanistan by five wickets on Saturday, while Ireland made one change to their side that fell to a disappointing nine-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka on Sunday, according to ICC.

Seamer Fionn Hand came in for his first match of the tournament, with experienced spinner Simi Singh making way.

Ireland: Paul Stirling, Andy Balbirnie (c), Lorcan Tucker (wk), Harry Tector, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Gareth Delany, Mark Adair, Fionn Hand, Barry McCarthy, Josh Little

England: Jos Buttler (c, wk), Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood.

–IANS

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