Welcome to the third and final one-day international between England and Ireland from the biosecure bubble here at Southampton. Remember when this World Cup Super League was announced and, as one, we concluded that it would be nice for there to be no more relatively meaningless dead rubbers? Well, it helps give more meaning to matches like this, where the visitors will be desperate to get on the scoreboard after losing the first two rubbers by six and four wickets respectively.
On both occasions, all-rounder Curtis Campher has kept the Irish side in it for far longer than appeared likely after early batting collapses. Get this: in the history of ODIs, only one man has banked half-centuries and taken wickets in both of their first two matches and that’s the 21-year-old South African import. Quite the story.
In terms of selection, England don’t have Reece Topley at their disposal today, the returning left-arm quick picking up a minor groin strain on Saturday. It’s likely that Tom Curran will be back in that spot. As for Ireland, they have brought quick Mark Adair into their 14 for the first time in the series, at the expense of tweaker George Dockrell, who came into the squad for Saturday but didn’t get a game.
Looking out across the ground from my vantage point in the Shane Warne Stand, it is a perfect day for it. They are using a fresh pitch too. Eoin Morgan was happy to send Ireland in in the opening game, but I wonder whether after batting second twice so far whether he’ll be more inclined to let his top-order rip? We’ll know when he walks out with Andy Balbirnie to toss the coin at 1:30pm local time.