Rain helps England reach Super Eights
PROVIDENCE, Guyana: England qualified for the second round Super Eights of the World Twenty20 following a no-result washout with Ireland here on Tuesday.
Although both sides lost to Group D table-toppers the West Indies, England went through on superior run-rate, with minnows Ireland paying dearly for their 70-run defeat by the hosts on Friday when they were skittled out for a record tournament low of 68.
Crucially, rain meant the match failed to reach the five-overs-played minimum in the second innings for a result to be declared, with Ireland 14 for one off 3.3 overs when the game was abandoned.
It was tough on Ireland, who had given themselves a shot of qualifying and more glory in the Caribbean, having knocked Pakistan out of the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies, by restricting England to 120 for eight.
Former Ireland batsman Eoin Morgan top-scored with 45.
When rain fell early in Ireland''s reply, England were left fearing a second dose of Duckworth-Lewis misery in as many days after they made 191 against the West Indies only to lose by eight wickets after a downpour left the hosts with a far less imposing target of 60 in six overs here on Monday.
But this time the weather and the rules worked in their favour, after Morgan had once again repaired the early damage, as he had done with a 55 against the West Indies.
No other England batsman made more against Ireland than Luke Wright''s 20, with South Africa-born Kevin Pietersen (nine) and Collingwood (nought) both falling cheaply.
Ireland''s Australia-born paceman Trent Johnston took one wicket for 14 and seamer Kevin O''Brien two for 22 while teenage left-arm spinner George Dockrell conceded a mere 19 runs from his full quota of four overs.
As against the West Indies, England lost the toss and found themselves being sent into bat.
They struggled to 49 for four as Johnston and Dockrell choked off the supply of runs. But Morgan, in a stand of 41 with Wright, revived the innings with some typically innovative shots before his 37-ball knock featuring five fours ended in the last over.
Earlier, England''s South Africa-born top three failed to get on top of Ireland''s attack. Michael Lumb fell first, clipping O''Brien''s first ball straight and low to Boyd Rankin at backward square leg.
England then suffered another setback when wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter was run out going for a rash single.
Collingwood exited in the same Johnston over, caught at slip for a third-ball duck before Pietersen, in a replay of his dismissal on Monday, was caught at deep mid-wicket off an attempted pull.
Morgan and Wright kept Ireland at bay before Wright, who had just struck the only six of the innings, was caught off a Rankin full-toss he toe-ended to extra cover.
England can now look forward to starting their Super Eight campaign against either defending champions Pakistan or Australia in Barbados on Thursday.