Ireland slump to shock defeat
William Porterfield accepted some of the blame and also pointed the finger at his fellow batsmen after Ireland failed to chase down a modest Hong Kong total at Malahide yesterday and slumped to a second shock loss in the World T20 qualifiers.
Desperate to bounce backs from Wednesday's two-wicket defeat by Papua New Guinea, Ireland again bowled tidily to restrict the visitors to 129-8 but then never looked like getting close to their target after Paul Stirling was caught on the boundary for 34.
Porterfield battled into the 18th over but when he was yorked for 28 from 40 balls there were too many runs and not enough time left, and despite John Mooney plundering 17 from the final over, Ireland ended five runs short on 124-8.
"We faced too many dot balls and I hold up my hand for not scoring quickly enough," said Porterfield.
"The batting has let us down in both the defeats this week. The mental application just hasn't been there.
"They played better in our home conditions than we did."
There was nothing flukey about the way Hong Kong bowled and fielded to restrict Ireland to less than a run a ball for long spells.
Suddenly, what had seemed like a stroll towards automatic qualification for the World T20 finals in India could now turn into the nightmare of a sudden death elimination match against Scotland or the Netherlands next week.
Ireland play their final group game against Jersey at Malahide tomorrow.