Monday 19 February 2018

William Porterfield keen for Ireland to make amends for Bristol errors at Lord's

Ireland captain William Porterfield will be back on familiar turf when his team make their debut appearance at Lord's on Sunday
Ireland captain William Porterfield will be back on familiar turf when his team make their debut appearance at Lord's on Sunday

Ireland captain William Porterfield is determined Ireland will put their Bristol blip behind them and rise to the occasion on their historic Lord's debut.

Porterfield's tourists failed to do themselves justice in the first Royal London Series match, losing on their international bow in England before the scheduled lunch break could even take place between innings.

The Irish faltered alarmingly to Adil Rashid's leg-spin, and the part-time off-breaks of Joe Root, to be bowled out for 126 in only 33 overs.

It then took England only another 20 to race to victory and, for Ireland, an embarrassingly early finish after they had lost their last eight wickets for 45 runs.

Porterfield, who on Sunday will be playing at the venue where he took his first steps towards a professional career as an MCC Young Cricketer, was among those who failed to produce his true running on Friday - making a laboured 13 from 45 balls before hitting Root straight into the hands of mid-off.

Straight-talking was the only answer as he reflected on Ireland's miserable performance.

"I wouldn't necessarily have envisaged that spin would do the damage ... we should have played it a lot better," said the Warwickshire batsman.

"That's something we need to mentally put right for Sunday.

"(But) you don't become bad players overnight - one bad game, one bad day at the office."

Porterfield is therefore calling on his players to simply forget about the seven-wicket defeat which put England in immediate good heart at the start of their high-profile longest ever summer.

Ireland have a big season ahead of them too - off the pitch as well as on, with Test status potentially beckoning at last if the vote goes their way at next month's International Cricket Council annual conference.

First, though, Porterfield knows they must get back on track at Lord's - where Ireland are expecting to be well-supported.

"We've lost early in series before and come back ... we'll park that game and leave it in Bristol," he added.

"It's something we want to put right.

"You want to give your fans something to cheer about when they travel to support you. There's no reason we can't turn it around."

Ireland were continuing a recent run of mixed results, having come up short too in each format against Afghanistan in India.

It is an untimely theme, with the granting of ICC full membership no foregone conclusion.

But Porterfield insists events in boardrooms will not put his team off their game in the middle.

"I don't think it's a distraction," he said.

"It's been hovering around for a while.

"It would be very harsh to judge (us) on a one-off performance.

"You only need to look at what's been done to the structure back home. Everything has been set up to be sustainable, (and) it just needs that extra injection of cash which we hope is coming (from Test status)."

Veteran wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien is still experiencing pain following an operation last year on his finger but was able to train with the squad at Lord's on Saturday.

The tourists have called up batsman John Anderson as middle-order cover as they wait for the results of a scan on O'Brien's injury.

Coach John Bracewell, meanwhile, echoes Porterfield in backing his team to hit back after Friday's disappointment and deal with the expectations on them in pursuit of Test cricket.

"They are having huge external pressure put on them, carrying the nation's hope through hundreds of years of history," said the New Zealander.

"It is something we were probably sweeping under the carpet a little bit and trying to pretend it wasn't there, but they've recognised that.

"I think yesterday they really felt that.

"If you're going to have a bad day, you may as well crash - and yesterday we did."

Press Association

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