Sunday 21 April 2019

Porterfield laments slow start in Afghanistan Test defeat


Captain William Porterfield. Photo: Sportsfile
Captain William Porterfield. Photo: Sportsfile

William Porterfield could only look back on what might have been after Afghanistan eased to a seven-wicket victory over Ireland to record their first Test win on a drama-free fourth morning in Dehradun, north-east India.

Any slim hope Ireland had of defending 147 disappeared when a soft catch was spilled at extra cover with the hosts on 39-1 and Afghanistan were within a boundary of winning before Stuart Poynter pulled off a stumping and Mohammad Nabi ran himself out.

"It was always going to be a tough ask defending 147, but it was the first innings where it went wrong for us," captain Porterfield said.

"At the time it seemed like a big toss to win but in any multi-day game you have to capitalise in the first innings.

"If we had done that, if we had batted remotely like we did in the second innings, then I think it could have been a completely different game.

"You would have seen them chasing a score upward of 280 or 300 to win, which would have been a very different story.

"This was our second Test match, with five lads making their debut, but I was very happy with those that came in, and how they prepared.

"You obviously want them to kick on and make big contributions - we just didn't do that first time around."

Porterfield singled out debutant James McCollum for praise after the 23-year-old Belfast batsman made 39 in the second innings, after featuring in just one ODI earlier in the tour.

"I was impressed with James - how he went about it," Porterfield said.

"He was short of batting time in the middle and the conditions were a bit alien to him as he hasn't played away a lot, like the rest of us, so I'm looking forward to seeing how he goes this summer."

McCollum is likely to get many more chances to impress in the longer format with Test matches already pencilled in against Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe next winter after the historic first clash with England at Lord's, starting on July 27.

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