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Off spinner William McBrine puts down a marker for the future

By Ian Callender

Ireland captain William Porterfield hailed the contribution of Donemana off spinner Andy McBrine as he again rose to the challenge on the big occasion.

McBrine was called into the team in place of No 1 slow bowler George Dockrell who has lost form and match action for his 18th game in Ireland colours and already a fourth against a Test nation.

"Andy may not have played as many matches as George over the last couple of years but he has done nothing wrong and was just waiting for his chance," Porterfield said.

"He is a great character to have around. Every time he has been called on he has never let us down, including three matches at the World Cup (against West Indies, South Africa and Zimbabwe) and coming in today, it was a fantastic effort. You know what you're getting when you throw him the ball," he added.

"It was a massive decision to leave out George, but we need to see what Andy has got and Australia is the biggest possible test. We are going on a tour to Zimbabwe and we might end up playing both of them, so we are hoping George gets more cricket building up to October, which is a very big month for us."

The captain also confirmed it was new coach John Bracewell's decision to give Niall O'Brien the wicket-keeping gloves for the first time in four years, in preference to Gary Wilson.

"Bracers wanted to have a look at him, we have three quality keepers, including Stuart Poynter, and he will form his opinion. No matter who keeps, they never let you down," added Porterfield.

Opposite number Steve Smith described the game as a "good work-out".

He added: "It was frustrating going on and off and we lost a few wickets in clumps but I'm not going to read too much into it. This was our first white ball cricket since the World Cup final. Ireland gave us a good test."

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