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Frustration for Porterfield as Ireland collapse again

By Ian Callender

It's not often you have the chance to feel sorry for a captain after his team suffer a third batting collapse in as many matches, but Ireland skipper William Porterfield was that person yesterday after defeat to Afghanistan in the first ODI - which comes on the back of their 3-0 T20 series loss against the same opponents.

He had just received the man of the match award for his ninth and biggest century in an ODI, and yet not only did it mean almost nothing, but he struggled to put a sentence together.

"It's still pretty raw, hard to take. You set yourself up in a great position but we're big enough to know we let ourselves down. You don't get that far ahead of the game too often and to let it slip is frustrating," was Porterfield's immediate reaction.

"Frustrating" was an understatement as, following his dismissal for a superb 119 from 98 balls - with Ireland needing just another 79 from 78 balls and six wickets left - he watched the next three 'big' wickets fall for 16 runs, and then it was a matter of time before Afghanistan went one up in the five-match series. The final margin was 30 runs.

The tourists had done well to restrict the Afghans to 292 - they had been 150 for one after 29 overs - but Peter Chase, who was selected ahead of Craig Young and Barry McCarthy in place of Boyd Rankin, who will also miss tomorrow's game, bowled much better than his figures, while Kevin O'Brien was the most economical.

Andy McBrine had been left out, but ended up fielding most of the innings when Jacob Mulder went off with a sore back.

When Ireland batted they lost Ed Joyce in the third over, but Porterfield and Paul Stirling put on 157 for the second wicket from 154 balls and Niall O'Brien and the captain added 36 more.

But Porterfield was out in the next and that sparked a collapse.

Afghanistan: 292-7 (50 overs, Rahmat Shah 78, Noor Ali 51; K O'Brien 3-47, T Murtagh 1-55, G Dockrell 1-68, P Chase 1-69) Ireland 262 (46.5 overs, E Joyce 4, P Stirling 68, W Porterfield 119, N O'Brien 10, K O'Brien 13, G Wilson 0, S Thompson 2, G Dockrell 12, T Murtagh 2, J Mulder 15 not out, P Chase 8; Rashid Khan 4-48, Dawlat Zadran 4-53). Afghanistan won by 30 runs.

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