Belfast Telegraph

Cricket: Ireland got it wrong from the start, says Porterfield

By Ian Callender

Ireland are back in 11th place in the ODI rankings today after they undid all their good work of the previous day with a below par performance in the second one-day international against Bangladesh at Stormont.

William Porterfield, the Ireland captain, knew the Tigers would come back hard after their seven wickets defeat on Thursday but it was desperately disappointing that the home side had so little answers.

Having set the standard in the first game between the teams, it all went wrong from the start for Ireland with Porterfield admitting, with hindsight, it was “probably a mistake” to bat.

He denied his decision was influenced by the absence from the ground at the toss of Trent Johnston, his experienced opening bowler who was at the doctor’s, but his hope that the pitch would take turn later in the day proved unfounded.

Although Andrew White ended the match-winning third wicket stand of 84 and George Dockrell followed up with the wicket of Tamim Iqbal, for 74, the slow bowlers sent down almost 12 overs with figures of two for 64.

The pace bowlers hadn’t any more joy, with Johnston — playing against doctor’s orders — and O’Brien the only wicket-takers and even their 13 overs cost 71 runs.

But it was virtually mission impossible for the bowlers trying to defend 190 in 46 overs, the game further reduced after a delayed start because of overnight rain.

Before the first powerplay had finished, Ireland were 28 for three, exactly the same position Bangladesh were the day before but, unlike their visitors, the wickets continued to fall in the Ireland innings, with a series of culpable shots.

Niall O’Brien was trapped in front by the slow left arm of Abdur Razzak, his brother Kevin then danced down the wicket and was stumped and when Andrew White played a nothing shot and was leg before, Ireland had slumped to 106 for six.

At least they still had Gary Wilson, now playing as a specialist batsman at Surrey, and John Mooney, Ireland’s in-form No 7 who averaged 66 at the World League in Holland last week.

Mooney, with four fours and a six in his 28 played his part but it was Wilson who stood tallest with his third ODI half-century.

He hadn’t got past 51 previously but this time he reached 60 off 64 balls.

Unfortunately both Mooney and Wilson departed in the space of eight balls and in between Johnston was also caught on the long-on boundary so, from being 168 for six with 26 balls left, they were 176 for nine and with only Boyd Rankin and Dockrell to face the last three overs.

They managed 13, without being parted, but it would have been more like 43 with the established batsmen still in the middle.

The extra runs probably would not have affected the result though as the Tigers swept home with more than eight overs to spare.

Tamim was cautiously responsible and took 64 balls to bring up his 50.

The game was up for Ireland and now they must wait until their trip to Zimbabwe in October for their next tilt at a Full Member.

l THE Ireland A team returned to winning ways at the European Championships in Jersey yesterday with a thumping 138 runs victory over Denmark.

James Shannon top scored with an unbeaten 84, from 77 balls with two sixes and five fours, as Ireland added 89 in the last 10 overs.

National coach Phil Simmons flew into Jersey this morning for the team’s last two games, against Netherlands A today and Scotland A on Monday.

Scores: Ireland A 334-6 (50 overs, J Shannon 84 not out, N McDonnell 60, R Strydom 46, S Thompson 36, A Balbirnie 35, J Hall 33) Denmark 184 (45.5 overs, M Pedersen 62; A van der Merwe 4-44, A Balbirnie 3-31). Ireland A won by 138 runs.

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