London: Curtis Campher hit his second fifty of the series to lift Ireland to 212/9, but Jonny Bairstow blitzed a 41-ball 82 before Sam Billings and David Willey produced an unbeaten 76-run partnership to secure a 2-0 lead for England going into the final match of the series.
Ireland won the toss, and elected to again bat first as they sought to put right what had gone wrong in the first ODI, when they had been reduce d to 28/5. But David Willey – who had claimed five wickets in that match – again made early breakthroughs, removing both openers within his first 19 balls.
Andrew Balbirnie and Harry Tector looked to settle things down, and saw off both opening bowlers before the former fell to an innocuous delivery from James Vince – who was bowling for the first time in his white ball international career, and for just the seventh time in List A matches.
Adil Rashid claimed the next three wickets to fall, producing a textbook googly to bowl Kevin O'Brien through the gate, Tector unable to clear mid-on with a powerful drive, and Lorcan Tucker top edging a sweep shot as he stretched to fetch it from outside off stump. That took Rashid to 150 ODI wickets, making him the first spinner to reach the mark for England.
Campher, coming into the match off the back of a fifty on debut in the first ODI, again showed application as he set about recovering the Ireland innings. He put on fifty partnerships with both Simi Singh and Andy McBrine, reaching a second ODI fifty in the process – a landmark he brought up by scooping Reece Topley for four as he looked to accelerate in the death overs.
Saqib Mahmood finally dismissed the all-rounder for 68 as he edged a catch to third man in the penultimate over of the innings. Topley got a feather behind from McBrine off the final ball of the innings – his first international wicket since dismissing Dwayne Bravo in the group stages of ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2016 – as Ireland finished on 212/9.
The visitors got off to a dream start with the ball as Craig Young sent Jason Roy back to the pavilion without a run on the board. But Jonny Bairstow was unperturbed, and blazed the Irish bowlers to all parts of the ground. He brought up his fifty with a towering six over long-off from just his 21st ball, equalling Eoin Morgan's record for England's fastest ODI fifty.
Campher's introduction with the ball got the breakthrough as he swung one back through James Vince's gate to uproot middle stump. The seamer also got Tom Banton soon after, for the second time in the series, pinning him on the pads with a similar ball to the one he dismissed Vince with.
Bairstow continued his assault though, and by the time Josh Little got him to nick behind, he had reduced the equation to 82 runs needed from 34 overs. But Little removed both Eoin Morgan and Moeen Ali for ducks in a double wicket maiden to leave England six down and only Billings remaining of the recognised batsmen.
Willey and Billings combined for a calming 76-run partnership though, shutting the door on Irish hopes of keeping the series alive. As he was in the first match, Billings remained at the crease as England reached their target, with both batsmen finishing unbeaten in the forties.
The final ODI will be played at the same venue on Tuesday 4 August, with Ireland still searching for their first points in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League, while England will be looking to maintain their perfect start in the tournament.