Sunday 22 April 2018

Cricket: Porterfield calls for Ireland response after thrashing

David Townsend

WILLIAM PORTERFIELD has demanded an instant response from Ireland in Belfast today after Saturday's thrashing by Pakistan in the first of the two-match RSA series.

A crowd of nearly 3,000 spectators braved the showers and cold at Stormont to support their World Cup heroes, but they had little to cheer as the home side were bundled out for 96 and lost by seven wickets in a game reduced to 36 overs per side.

"We have to pick ourselves up and come back at them," said captain Porterfield. "It's a mental thing more than anything.

"It was disappointing to be bowled out that cheaply. We wanted to put on a performance for the fans and keep a buzz around Irish cricket, but we failed with the bat and let people down."

Porterfield claimed some of his fellow batsman got carried away after seeing opener Paul Stirling smash 39 from only 22 balls at the top of the innings -- including seven fours and a big six over mid-on.

"The way Stirlo started, I think a few lads got caught up in that and thought the pitch was a bit flatter than it was," he said. "There were too many bad shots and not enough application at the crease, especially after we lost a couple of early wickets."

From 44-1 just before Stirling holed out in the sixth over, Ireland subsided to 96 all out at the end of the 20th over -- their lowest score since being skittled for 77 by Sri Lanka at the 2007 World Cup.

Clontarf all-rounder Alex Cusack picked up the three Pakistani wickets to fall, but the World Cup semi-finalists were always in control and eased to victory with 51 balls to spare.

Meanwhile, England are targeting victory on the final day of the first Test against Sri Lanka after Jonathan Trott's double hundred helped the hosts to 491-5 in Cardiff, a lead of 91.

Having put on 251 with fellow Ashes hero Alastair Cook, Trott then shared in a stand of 160 with Ian Bell, who ended the day unbeaten on 98, with former Ireland star Eoin Morgan 14 not out at the other end -- and ready to accelerate today as England push for a declaration.

"It was tricky, they bowled into the rough and it was difficult to score freely," said Trott. "They tried to slow us up, so hopefully we can kick on. The good thing is they were turning it off the straight, so it brings Graeme Swann into play tomorrow."

England v Sri Lanka,

Live, Sky Sports 2, 11.0

Irish Independent

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