Published: 20:25, 30 July 2020
| Updated: 21:23, 30 July 2020
Kent skipper Sam Billings scored an unbeaten half-century to help England win their first one-day international of their three-game series against Ireland by six wickets.
Billings came to the crease with Eoin Morgan's men 59-3 and struggling as they chased a target of 173 for victory.
But the 29-year-old kept his nerve to score 67 not out, including 11 boundaries, and shared a 96-run partnership with England skipper Morgan to see his side home.
For Billings, who wasn't expected to play but came in for county team-mate Joe Denly who was a late withdrawal due to a back injury, it was also a highest one-day international score and his third half-century. His previous best-ever score in one-day internationals was a score of 62 in a four-wicket success against Bangladesh in October 2016.
At the Ageas Bowl, England bowled first and began well.
David Willey dismissed all of Ireland's top three and they stumbled to 28-5.
Curtis Campher (59 not out) and Andy McBrine (40) did help Ireland towards a respectable total but Pembury-born Billings, playing as an outfield player with Jonny Bairstow behind the stumps, took the catch to dismiss McBrine and break that partnership as Ireland ended their innings 172 all out in the 45th over.
Willey was the pick of England's bowlers and ended with figures of 5-30.
The two teams will meet at the Ageas Bowl again on Saturday and then will complete the three-match series at the same venue on Tuesday afternoon.
More by this authorThomas Reeves
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