The third and final one-day international between England and Ireland in Bristol ended with a washout to see the hosts claim the three-match series 1-0.
Thirty-one overs of play were possible, with a blistering England batting effort taking them to 280-4 and on course to possibly challenge their world-record total of 498-4 and become the first team to post 500 in the format, until rain intervened.
Ben Duckett brought up a maiden ODI century off 72 balls with a second six – to go with 12 boundaries – and was 107 not out when the heavens opened.
It was only a short, sharp shower but a heavy one and, with the groundstaff slow to react as the rain arrived, the puddles that built up on the outfield proved too much to overcome in order for play to resume as the international cricket summer ended in rather farcical fashion.
England’s World Cup squad travel out to India this week, where they will play two warm-up matches against India (September 30) and Bangladesh (October 2) ahead of the tournament, which starts with a rematch of the 2019 final against New Zealand on October 5.
England gave warning of their attacking intent as early as the opening four balls of the innings, with Phil Salt smashing 18 runs off Mark Adair before the bowler sent down a wide to make it England’s highest-ever opening over in ODI cricket – equalling the world record of 19 set by South Africa in 2003 when Graeme Smith smashed a young James Anderson to all parts.
Salt was just getting started too. He ultimately clubbed seven fours and four sixes as he raced through to a 22-ball fifty, England brining up their half century in just four overs.
Salt (61 off 28 balls) ultimately perished in the seventh, miscuing one from Craig Young (3-31) to mid-on, while the pick of the Ireland seamers swiftly added Will Jacks (39 off 21) – bowled through the gate – in his next.
That brought England’s Test opening pair together in the middle, with Zak Crawley and Duckett proceeding to put on a century stand for the third wicket.
Crawley (51) was the first through to fifty – his second in ODIs coming off 39 deliveries – before he perished two balls after Duckett joined him through to the mark (46 balls), gifting Theo van Woerkom (1-47) his maiden wicket on debut as the England stand-in skipper picked out the fielder at short-third.
Duckett kicked on and brought up England’s 250 as he punished Van Woerkom for four consecutive boundaries in the 27th over and his maiden hundred was brought up in sensational style in the 30th over with a six smashed over wide long-off.
Despite Duckett’s red-hot batting, storm clouds began to circle in Bristol and an over later, just after Sam Hain (17) became Yong’s third victim – rain brought the players off and ultimately signalled the end of the match.
Bright sunshine returned within the hour, but the damage to the pitch and the outfield was too great as the game was called off little more than half an hour after the sudden torrential downpour.