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England limp past Ireland

ENGLAND ambled into the last eight of the World Twenty20 last night after persistent rain in Guyana rendered their Group D decider against Ireland a no-result.

Eoin Morgan, playing against the country of his birth, again proved England’s star performer with a determined 45 off 37 balls helping them reach 120-8.

Ireland’s response was never allowed to get off the ground, with showers twice stopping their innings before the match was abandoned.

That outcome ensured England second place in the group, behind the hosts West Indies, and guaranteed their progress to the Super Eights stage.

Ireland, who are eliminated, will feel hard done by that they did not get a chance to chase their target, having rattled England with some accomplished medium-pace bowling and astute fielding.

England went into the match knowing they had to beat Ireland to reach the Super Eights stage, having controversially lost to West Indies on the Duckworth-Lewis method on Monday.

That defeat appeared to be affecting them early on, with nervy batting seeing Michael Lumb, Craig Kieswetter, captain Paul Collingwood and Kevin Pietersen fall before England had amassed 50 runs.

Morgan steadied them, however, and his partnership with Luke Wright brought a respectable total into view, before four late wickets saw England finish their innings on a precarious-looking 120-8.

Yet if Ireland’s spirits were lifted, they were soon to be deflated, with rain playing havoc with and then eventually sabotaging their reply.

The 3.3 overs played, in which they made 14-1, fell below the minimum of five overs needed for the Duckworth-Lewis method to be brought into play.