Even at 48 for four in pursuit of 270, captain Eoin Morgan was confident England could beat Ireland in the one-day international at Malahide.
Tim Murtagh’s three wickets left the visitors in trouble by the 15th over, yet Morgan and Ravi Bopara’s unbeaten hundreds completed victory with seven overs to spare.
The six-wicket win not only avoided a repeat of Ireland’s 2011 World Cup upset, but set England up nicely for the NatWest Series with Australia that starts on Friday at Headingley.
Speaking exclusively to ecb.co.uk, Morgan said: “We always felt that if we got something going here that we could chase it down, but the hardest thing for us was going to be adapting to conditions.
“We played here on a club ground where we’re not used to playing on these specific wickets. So again adjusting was hard, but once we did we found it a lot easier.”
Morgan and Bopara, who hit his maiden ODI ton, added an unbroken 226 to end on 124 and 101 respectively.
“It was quite nice to spend some time in the middle. Obviously me and Ravi complement each other in the way that we play,” Morgan added.
“Once we got settled amongst the conditions here we kicked things along, which was quite nice.”
The skipper also praised ODI debutant Boyd Rankin, whose 4-46 limited Ireland to 269 for seven - Will Porterfield top-scored with 112 - after Morgan won the toss.
“He did particularly well,” Morgan said. “It’s great to see Boyd being rewarded for all his hard work over the last number of years.
“I’ve been a huge admirer of him. To see him take wickets today, the way he did, was great.”