SOUTHAMPTON (ENGLAND), August 2: Opener Jonny Bairstow smashed a blistering knock of 82 runs as England defeated Ireland by four wickets in the second One-Day International (ODI) to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series at the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground in Southampton on Saturday.
Ireland won the toss and opted to bat first in their must-win clash against England.
The visitors lost openers Paul Sterling (12) and Gareth Delany (0), skipper Andy Balbirnie and Kevin O’Brien (three) cheaply.
Harry Tector and Lorcan Tucker too failed to convert their good starts into big scores and departed for 28 and 21, respectively.
Curtis Campher then scored a crucial knock of 68 runs as Ireland posted a score of 212 for nine in their stipulated 50 overs.
For England, Adil Rashid bagged three wickets, while Dawid Willey and Saqib Mahmood claimed two wickets each.
James Vince and Reece Topley also chipped in with a wicket each.
In reply, England lost opener Jason Roy for a duck.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Bairstow then smashed a quick-fire knock of 82 runs, including 14 boundaries and two sixes, off just 41 balls.
Subsequently, Sam Billings and Dawid Willey also notched up crucial unbeaten knocks of 46 and 47 runs, respectively to help England chase down the score in just 32.3 overs and emerge victorious.
Josh Little scalped three wickets for Ireland, while Campher and Craig Young took two and a wicket, respectively.
With the win, England have clinched the three-match series with a game to spare.
The two sides will now play a dead-rubber third ODI on August 4 at the same venue. (Agencies)