Bangalore: Half-centuries by Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell helped England post an impressive 327-8 against Ireland in their Group B match on Wednesday.
Trott (92) and Bell (81) stitched together a 167-run third wicket partnership as they milked the insipid Irish bowling attack to lay the foundations for the daunting total.
After winning the toss, England captain Andrew Strauss opted to celebrate his 34th birthday by batting first on the placid pitch at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Strauss and fellow South-African born batsman Kevin Pietersen tore into the Irish bowling and raced to 72 in 10 overs. Strauss (34) however looked scratchy while Pietersen (59 off 50 balls) in contrast played the aggressor in their 91-run partnership.
The juggernaut was halted by the introduction of spin as 18-year-old George Dockrell, who impressed in the match against Bangladesh, took out Strauss in his second over.
Pietersen, who was playing fluently and looked in fine knick for a big score fell three overs later to off-spinner Paul Stirling.
That brought Trott and Bell together. Bell looked to carry on from where he left off on Sunday in the tied match against India and played an eye-catching knock studded with six fours and one six.
Trott grabbed the opportunity to get some batting practice against a tame bowling attack and laced his innings with nine boundaries. He fell to John Mooney in the 45th over trying to boost the run-rate.
The 20-year-old Stirling, who is known more for his hard-hitting batting as an opener, was the most economical Irish bowler and used some intelligent variation of flight and spin to finish with one for 45 off 10 straight overs.
Mooney finished with four for 63 after picking up some late wickets.