When the euphoria from another superb T20 World Cup victory finally begins to fade this morning in Melbourne, Ireland will start to look forward to tomorrow’s clash with Afghanistan knowing that a win will take the Boys in Green to top spot in Group 1 of the Super 12.

Is it too early to dream of a place in the semi-finals? Frankly, yes. But after such a well-deserved success over England - albeit with a little help from above - it’s not hard to plot a path into the final four, especially with Australia looking far from invincible.

Ireland thoroughly deserved to beat England for the second time in four World Cup meetings - one abandoned, and the defeat way back in the amateur days of 2007 - as vanquished skipper Jos Buttler was gracious enough to admit.

Buttler thought his team had been outplayed in all three disciplines, which was stretching a point because Ireland were able to drop three catches and still get the benefit of the DLS calculation by five runs when rain intervened in the 15th over of the chase.

Ireland also had to overcome an outrageous slice of bad luck when bowler Adil Rashid touched a drive into the non-striker’s stumps to run out Lorcan Tucker, a fluke that initiated a dispiriting slump from the strength of 103-1 in the 12th over.

Tucker made 34 from 27 balls and his partnership of 82 with Andy Balbirnie took advantage of loose bowling, particularly from Chris Woakes, to lay a platform for a total in excess of 180, perhaps even nudging past 200.

It wasn’t to be as Harry Tector nicked off second ball, Balbirnie picked out deep backward square with a trademark sweep and departed for a top score of 62 from 47 balls, with two sixes, and George Dockrell immediately followed his skipper back to the rooms.

Curtis Campher made a jolly little 18, including an an implausible scoop for four off 90mph quickie Mark Wood, who had tested the grill on his helmet the over before, but when the innings ended four balls short of its quota few thought 157 would be enough.

Did the experience gained during the summer in series against India, New Zealand, South Africa and Afghanistan kick in at this point, or was it just the spur of playing England? Either way, the bowling attack produced its very best goods.

Josh Little found an edge from Buttler second ball and followed up with the wicket of dangerman Alex Hales then, glory be, Fionn Hand hit Ben Stokes’s middle stump with his first legitimate delivery of the tournament, and quite possibly the ball of the World Cup.

Brought in to replace spinner Simi Singh, another tactic that was spot on, the folk hero from Clontarf, who has his own Appreciation Society on Twitter, swung one late and through the gate to remove England’s talisman.

Tidy overs from Barry McCarthy and leg-spinner Gareth Delany kept the pressure on and by the time Moeen Ali began to find his range the rain was falling more heavily.

The umpires took the players off with England on 105-5, needing a further 53 from 33 balls, and 20 minutes later time ran out.

“It’s kind of emotional,” Balbirnie, who was Player-of-the-Match, said. “To come here to the MCG, where we have never played a game before, and to win against the tournament favourites is amazing. 

“A few of our fans who travelled from home have extended their stay. Their support has been wonderful and this will do a lot to grow the game back home. We have Afghanistan here on Friday. It’s a quick turnaround but we’re looking forward to it.”

Win that one and… Let’s not get ahead of ourselves but with England still having to play Australia and New Zealand, it’s not impossible you know.