Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 25 November 2015

Ireland won't be taken for a spin again: William Porterfield

By Ian Callender

Published 08/05/2014

Upbeat: William Porterfield wants that winning feeling
Upbeat: William Porterfield wants that winning feeling

William Porterfield remains confident that Ireland can claim their first win against an elite Test nation in Dublin but knows if they are to achieve it today the team will have to master the mystery spin of Ajantha Mendis in the second one-day international in Clontarf.

Mendis was man of the match in Tuesday's 79-run victory for Sri Lanka but although the Ireland captain was one of his three victims, Porterfield insists he can be tamed.

"Some dismissals were avoidable but we have to pick ourselves up and come back strong. Credit to Mendis, but we can come through it and take him for 35, for minimum loss, which would set ourselves up," he said.

"On another fresh pitch, we will have a very good chance and while we are disappointed how we batted, there's no reason why we can't turn them over.

"We played very well for 65 overs on Tuesday but (the loss of) four wickets (in 29 balls) killed us."

Porterfield's was one of the 'avoidable' dismissals, a sweep shot to deep midwicket, but ominously the most confident of the specialist batsmen in the first game, Niall O'Brien after scoring 33 from 39 balls, was trapped in front by Mendis.

The Leicestershire batsman, however, insisted the gap between the teams was not as large as the result would suggest.

"Playing mystery spin is never easy but we left 10 overs unused. We must put more of a price on our wickets and bat for more time. A total of 220 was definitely chaseable; it wasn't a 140 wicket," said O'Brien.

"Our bowlers can hold their heads high. Paul (Stirling) did well and Tim (Murtagh) was excellent. Fielding was also excellent, including a rarity, a direct hit and run-out by me and Kevin (O'Brien) held a couple of great catches."

Porterfield explained that Andy McBrine was left out of the 11 because of the short boundary on one side of the ground so there was never any chance of more than 20 overs of spin.

In the end, the two spinners bowled 18 overs but picked up only one wicket each, while Alex Cusack passed a fitness test but was comfortably the most expensive and least successful of the seven bowlers used. Stuart Thompson, in only his third ODI, maintained his record of always taking a wicket and, although bamboozled by Mendis, did enough to retain his place.

Even without players of the quality of Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Lasith Malinga, it was always going to be a good Test for Ireland in the countdown to the 2015 World Cup. A few more batting partnerships should get them closer today.

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