/Stirling, Porterfield guide Ireland to 292

Stirling, Porterfield guide Ireland to 292


Paul Stirling and William Porterfield put on 174 runs for the third wicket.

Paul Stirling and William Porterfield put on 174 runs for the third wicket. © Getty

A 174-run stand between Paul Stirling and William Porterfield set stage for Ireland’s 292/8 before their late stumble against Bangladesh in game six of the tri-nation series, at the Clontarf Cricket Club Ground in Dublin on Wednesday.

Bangladesh had come in to the contest without lead pacer Mustafizur Rahman, who had returned a match-winning four-fer, and Soumya Sarkar.

Electing to bat, Ireland lost opener James McCollum early as he found himself squared up by a delivery that moved away after pitching and edged it to the only slip fielder. Even as there was some assistance for the pacers early on, Andrew Balbirnie and Stirling remained on the attack. While the opener blasted Rubel Hossain for a couple of sixes early in the innings, Balbarnie stroked four boundaries in his run-a-ball 20. However, two wickets by the 11th over put the hosts on the backfoot.

However, the veteran duo of Porterfield and Stirling provided solidity to the innings and lay a steady foundation in the middle overs. They shunned their big shots, occupied the crease for 34 overs, and neatly paced Ireland’s innings. However, just when Porterfield had switched a gear higher, sending the deliveries by his Bangladeshi counterpart – Mashrafe Mortaza – outside the ground twice in the 43rd over, the increased risk brought about his downfall. Trying to attempt the same against Abu Jayed a couple of overs later, and send a delivery over sweeper cover, resulted in him holing out to Liton Das in the deep.

While Porterfield fell six short of his century – a 106-ball knock which included seven boundaries and two sixes – his fall was followed by a collapse. Stirling’s fine knock of 130 – his seventh ODI century – came to an end in the 47th over when he wanted to lift Jayed over the long on region, only to mistime the shot and find the fielder in the deep. His 141-ball innings, which included eight boundaries and four sixes was accorded a standing ovation as he walked back to the pavilion.

Saifuddin, having recovered from a back injury, snared a brace in his final over as Ireland lost five in the last six overs of their innings. Jayed was the wrecker-in-chief, dismissing Porterfield, Kevin O’Brien, Stirling and Gary Wilson in his last three overs, to return his maiden ODI fifer as Ireland looked to pace their innings towards the end. Shakib Al Hasan, who had proven to be economical in the previous outings this series, proved to be the most expensive of Bangladesh’s bowlers on the day, especially with Stirling hitting him for successive sixes in the 46th over.

Despite the collapse, Porterfield and Stirling’s steady stand enabled Ireland to add 111 runs in the last 11 overs.

Brief Scores: Ireland 292/5 in 50 overs (Paul Stirling 130, William Porterfield 95; Abu Jayed 5-58, Saifuddin 2-43) vs Bangladesh

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