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Porterfield is urging Ireland to put shackles on free-scoring Afghans

By Ian Callender

Ireland captain William Porterfield believes he can limit the number of boundaries the free-scoring Afghanistan batsmen hit when the teams meet in the second Twenty20 international in Greater Noida today (8.30am GMT).

Afghanistan reached their victory target of 166 to win the first game on Wednesday and despite facing 12 fewer balls than Ireland they struck five more sixes (8-3).

The fours count was exactly the same in both innings (17) so an answer to reversing the result would seem obvious and one Porterfield knows he has to address.

"You've got to give Afghanistan a lot of credit as to how they played," said the captain. "They're the kind of side that like to play their shots and can potentially hit a lot more sixes than us. But I think we can tie them down a lot better.

"As well as we played - and I thought we did very well with the bat after losing Paul Stirling in the first over - we came up short with the ball. We didn't execute things as well as we would have liked."

Hitting boundaries, however, is not a new problem for Ireland and a big reason why they struggle in T20 cricket. They failed to hit one in eight overs on Wednesday - twice as many as Afghanistan and three of those were in the first five overs when only two boundary fielders were allowed.

The big plus - and he hit two of Ireland's three sixes - was Stuart Thompson in his new role as opening batsman. He top scored with 56 from 35 balls but after he was out in the 10th over, Ireland could only double the score when 180 was their target.

Belfast Telegraph


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