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Gutted Ireland let golden chance of victory slip away

 

So close: Ireland’s Lorcan Tucker drops a catch
So close: Ireland’s Lorcan Tucker drops a catch

By Ian Callender

Ireland captain William Porterfield admitted that it was another game that got away as England, the world's No 1 ranked side, scraped home by four wickets in yesterday's one-day international at Malahide.

England, needing a modest 199 for victory, were 101-6 but Ireland failed to pick up another wicket and Porterfield was left with regrets.

"We were in a very good position, we just needed to get another wicket a bit earlier to put them under pressure. But they have a long batting line-up and played the situation very well," he said.

"When you are under no pressure to score quickly, it is easier to free up and get a couple away, so you have to give them a bit of credit. But, yes, it was probably one that got away."

Porterfield admitted that Ireland didn’t get enough runs, after he and Paul Stirling had put on 55 for the first wicket.

“We had a foundation but no one was ever fluent through their innings. Unfortunately, we kept losing wickets and they pegged us back. If we had a couple more wickets going into the last 10 overs we could have potentially scored another 25-30 runs and that is a big difference in the context of the game,” he added.

The captain, though, had nothing but praise for Northern Knights all-rounder Mark Adair, on his first Ireland appearance, and 19-year-old Josh Little, on his ODI debut.

Adair scored 32 off 30 balls, with two sixes, and Little took four wickets, for the second best bowling figures by an Ireland debutant.

“We knew Mark could strike a big ball but I was impressed by the way he went about constructing his innings. He showed he can go from ball one last week (in La Manga, in the Inter-provincial Cup) and he got a couple away. He then acquitted himself well with the new ball.

“We know Josh is a talented kid with a bit of pace. He offers something different being a left armer and all he can do now is keep progressing and aim to hold down a regular place. But you would think both of them had played 30-40 internationals.”

The one moment of controversy was the stumping by Ben Foakes of Andrew Balbrinie, after a long wait by the wicket-keeper. Porterfield was not impressed.

“How long can you wait? he asked. “The ball was pretty much dead, he wasn’t falling over, he wasn’t going anywhere. If wicket-keepers do that every time, the match will last 15 hours! To be fair to Balbo, he was more unhappy that he had lifted his foot, than the stumping decision.”

Porterfield  also admitted he should have sent the lbw decision against Foakes ‘upstairs’.

“I saw the three reds (for out) on the big screen so I’m not pleased. But Murts (Tim Murtagh) thought it might have been sliding down, Willo (Gary Wilson) thought it might have been too high and when you get ‘mights’, you usually leave it, but there were only 10 overs left so we probably should have reviewed it because you mightn’t get another chance. They didn’t.”

Ireland are back in action tomorrow, at Castle Avenue, the first match of the Tri-series, against West Indies, starting at 10.45am, while Ireland Wolves play Bangladesh at The Hills, starting one hour later.

Meanwhile, Foakes, who carried England to victory on his one-day international debut,  with 61 not out in 76 balls, admitted he didn’t think he could play his way into England’s 50-over plans.

“Probably not, no,” he said. “This is great but something I didn’t expect.

“It’s really exciting to make your debut, especially in ODI cricket, because I didn’t really think I’d make my debut. Just to get the game has been great.

“It was probably not the position you think you’re going to come into with this one-day team, it was one of those rebuilding jobs and I guess that suited my game a little bit.

“I just had to get my head down and fight it out.”

 On his unusual stumping of Balbirnie, he said: “I was happy with it. It was quite wide down leg, but I got it back to the stumps.

“When it’s a sweep you think they might fall over and I just saw he lifted his foot and nicked them off.”

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