Thursday 24 October 2019

Balbirnie issues rallying cry after century in vain

Andrew Balbirnie celebrates after scoring a century against the West Indies. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Andrew Balbirnie celebrates after scoring a century against the West Indies. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Andy Balbirnie wants Ireland to put in a complete performance in their remaining tri-series one-day international against Bangladesh after seeing his excellent century wasted by a below-par bowling effort in a five-wicket loss to the West Indies at Malahide on Saturday.

"We've played a bit hot and cold of late," Balbirnie said. "We got it right with the bat in the West Indies game and we got it right with the ball last week against England, so it's a matter of putting them together to get us over the line."

After two defeats and an abandonment, the Boys in Green can still qualify for Friday's final, but only if Bangladesh lose to the West Indies at Malahide today and again to Ireland at Clontarf on Wednesday.

Since the turn of the year, Balbirnie has emerged as the most prized wicket in the Ireland line-up, nudging ahead of former U-19 team-mate Paul Stirling with two ODI centuries, one against Afghanistan in March followed by a superb 135 from 124 balls, with four sixes, on Saturday.

"I've felt good for the last two games and found myself getting out weirdly," he said.

"I felt quite good in training, in that I was moving quite well."

While Balbirnie, who added 146 with Stirling to help Ireland post a worthy 327-5, continues to impress, William Porterfield continues to struggle, making just three after dropping down the order to No 4, meaning the skipper has now gone 12 innings without bettering 21.

The mounting pressure on Porterfield was visible in the field, where he was uncharacteristically clumsy, but there was nothing he could do about a wayward bowling performance in which only highlight was three wickets for Boyd Rankin, including man-of-the-match Sunil Ambris for 148.

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