England trounces Ireland

A 142-run stand between centurion Marcus Trescothick and Ian Bell has given England a 38-run victory over Ireland in the inaugural match between the two sides at Stormont.

The Trescothick-Bell partnership masked a scratchy performance by England's top order, while the team's ground fielding was also sloppy.

England started briskly but found itself at 3-92 after 14 overs with Ed Joyce (10), a native Irishman, captain Andrew Strauss (four) and Paul Collingwood (10) all out cheaply.

However, Trescothick and Bell put on 142 in 28 overs, the pair picking off ones and twos in the middle order to steady the ship.

Trescothick lost his wicket to John Mooney when he found Paul Mooney at long-on, before Bell was dismissed by the same bowler.

Some late order fireworks by Geraint Jones, who hit 20 off 13 balls, helped lift England above 300.

The Irish were an outside chance of causing an upset when they moved to 2-118 in the 26th over, however Steve Harmison (3-58) and Collingwood (2-26) grabbed four wickets in three overs to reduce the cricket minnow to 6-135.

A 74-run stand between Andrew White (40 off 43 balls) and Kevin O'Brien (35 off 48) prevented an English rout and some lusty hitting from the Mooney brothers added more respectability to the scoreboard.

Meanwhile, persistent rain in St Lucia prevented any play on day four of the second Test between West Indies and India.

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