England survive scare in Dublin to beat Ireland by four wickets thanks to Ben Foakes and Tom Curran

3 May

England kicked off their World Cup summer with a tense victory in Ireland, as Ben Foakes overshadowed fellow debutant Jofra Archer with a match-winning turn in Malahide.

Archer was easily the most hyped of the six first-timers on show (three in each side) but while he opened his international account with a stump-toppling yorker and regularly reached 90mph, England would have been heading home defeated were it not for Foakes’ cool-headed 61 not out.

England survived a scare in Dublin against Ireland

Chasing 199, the visitors were reduced to 66 for five when the Surrey wicketkeeper calmed things down and began the painstaking process of reeling in the target and delivering a four-wicket win with three overs to spare.

Unlike Archer, Foakes’ chances of making the World Cup are slim, with the rested duo Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow untouchable among wicketkeeper-batsmen, but his contribution was easily the definitive one.

Foakes had already made a big intervention with a contentious stumping of Andrew Balbirnie that straddled a line between inspired, opportunistic and discourteous.

Nothing in the rules spoke against his belated flick of the bails as Balbirnie’s foot lifted and if anything it offered evidence of the Surrey gloveman’s razor-sharp instincts.

Eoin Morgan walks off in his home city after being dismissed

Play began two hours late due to a sodden outfield, with the contest reduced to 45 overs a side as a result. Ireland were still dismissed 11 balls ahead of time as Liam Plunkett and Tom Curran responded to Archer’s arrival by sharing seven wickets.

The pair are among the incumbents looking over the shoulder ahead but did their best to remind the selectors of their value, combining to restrict the hosts to what had seemed a gentle total.

Archer was selected for new-ball duty but failed to land a killer blow in an initial four-over burst. Paul Stirling proved a thorn in his side, taking the Sussex man for four boundaries, including a punch through point from Archer’s very first delivery.

He did not have long to wait to be involved in his first dismissal, though, stooping to catch Stirling as Curran made the breakthrough. England, and Archer, were off and running but Ireland were about to stumble from 55 without loss to 77 for four.

Jofra Archer regularly hit 90mph for England

Plunkett, whose form has been patchy of late, prised out William Porterfield and Lorcan Tucker, while Curran needed a super take from Joe Denly to see off Kevin O’Brien.

The duo would be back later to wrap the innings up, but it was Archer’s return that captured the imagination. A rapid spell, littered with zippy bouncers, a clever slower ball and, crucially, a memorable wicket.

The target would not have shaken the away dressing room but without the chutzpah of rested openers Jason Roy and Bairstow, they started sedately.

England should have been able to absorb the loss of James Vince, brilliantly caught by George Dockrell off newcomer Josh Little, but relied on one of their two most established hands, Joe Root and Eoin Morgan, to do the job. Instead the pair lasted just nine balls between them.

Ben Foakes was England’s saviour on Friday

Root was pinned lbw in trademark fashion by Tim Murtagh, relentlessly accurate and searching for minor misjudgments, before Morgan bagged a three-ball duck. Little, the teenage left-armer, did brilliantly this time, digging one in short and brushing the glove as England’s Dublin-born captain found himself cramped for room.

The moment visibly energised the men in green, whose surge continued when Dawid Malan (24) became Little’s third victim. Struggling with a muscular injury and dropped once already he nibbled outside off stump and was held one-handed by keeper Gary Wilson.

Denly, earning a first one-day cap in a decade, managed a fleeting appearance before recreating Vince’s demise. There was another short ball, another full-blooded pull and another smart catch, with Boyd Rankin and O’Brien the winning combination on this occasion.

Foakes was at the crease by now and he would ultimately ride the tension to see England home.

There were scares along the way, notably when Ireland declined to review an lbw decision against him on 37. Had they done so, Murtagh would have been celebrating again.

After David Willey added 20, Curran (47 not out) joined Surrey team-mate Foakes and the pair chiselled away 98 runs between them, turning a nervy day into a safe result.

West Indies vs England: Tom Curran replaces Chris Woakes for second ODI in Barbados

22 Feb

Tom Curran replaces Chris Woakes as England make one change for the second ODI against the West Indies in Barbados – live on talkSPORT2.

Woakes has been managing a knee injury throughout the winter and despite being fit for selection, it was decided two games in three days would put the all-rounder at risk.

Tom Curran comes in for Chris Woakes

The Windies also made one change, Nicholas Pooran making way for Sheldon Cottrell.

Eoin Morgan won the toss and opted to field first, happy to chase again having pursued a record 361 on Wednesday.

The tourists chased down their highest-ever target earlier this week to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

Centuries from Jason Roy and Joe Root powered England to victory with eight balls to spare.

They will be wary of big-hitting Windies opener Chris Gayle, who hit 12 maximums in a knock of 135 on Wednesday.

Chris Woakes has been rested

Gayle has more sixes against England in ODIs than any other player in history.

You can follow all of the action from the Kensington Oval live on talkSPORT2.

England cricketer Tom Curran not looking past Sri Lanka as World Cup looms

9 Oct

England seamer Tom Curran refuses to be distracted by next year’s World Cup ahead of the upcoming ODI series in Sri Lanka.

Curran broke into England’s one-day side last winter before a series of injuries forced him to miss most of the white-ball summer.

Curran was a regular for England last winter

Back in the international squad, the Surrey bowler is running out of time to make himself a permanent fixture before the 50-over World Cup in May 2019 on home soil.

However, the 23-year-old insists his mind is solely focused on the task at hand.

“This is a big tour, then West Indies, and inevitably a lot of people are looking towards the World Cup,” Curran said.

“You’ve got to think about the now and not think too far ahead. That’s what we’re doing, that’s how we’re training, and whatever the team is, the boys will be pushing hard.”

Curran hopes to be picked for the first ODI against Sri Lanka on Wednesday, but extreme weather in Dambulla is likely to see his opportunity delayed.

He added: “This is serious rain. It’s not English weather at all, this is a downpour. If it’s like this for the next couple of days I can’t see the grounds drying at all.

“It’s annoying, but it is what it is.”

Curran needs to prove himself

Should Curran get his chance, he is confident the conditions will suit his particular brand of fast-medium pace.

“I’d like to think that my skills would help me out here, with the wickets being a bit slower or a bit on the grippy side,” Curran said.

“Whatever pitch is out in front of us, I’ll try and adapt.”

talkSPORT will bring you exclusive radio coverage of England’s tour of Sri Lanka. More details here.

England cricket news: Tom Curran ruled out of white-ball summer as brother Sam steps in for ODI against India

3 Jul

Tom Curran will miss England’s white-ball summer because of a side strain, and his brother Sam will replace him in the one-day international series against India.

Brothers Tom (left) and Sam (right) Curran

Curran suffered the injury while part of England’s ODI squad against Australia last month, but was retained to take on India for the Vitality IT20 series which gets under way at Old Trafford on Tuesday and three 50-over matches to follow.

It was hoped he may recover full fitness in time to be considered for selection by the end of this week.

Instead, Curran – who last played for England against New Zealand in Christchurch four months ago – must wait to add to his 14 limited-overs caps.

His 20-year-old younger brother and fellow Surrey bowling all-rounder Sam is already in England’s Twenty20 squad, having made both his Test and ODI debuts last month.

A brief England and Wales Cricket Board statement confirmed the elder Curran’s misfortune on Tuesday lunchtime.

It read: “Surrey all-rounder Tom Curran has been ruled out of England’s Vitality IT20s and ODIs against India with a left side strain.

“He is replaced in the ODI squad by his brother Sam.

“Tom will now commence his rehabilitation programme at the Kia Oval under the supervision of Surrey and England’s medical teams.”

England have not announced a replacement for Curran in the squad for the three-match Twenty20 series which concludes in Bristol on Sunday, having already added batsmen Dawid Malan to their 14 last weekend.