A QUITE inspirational batting display by skipper William Porterfield helped Ireland to a thoroughly convincing seven-wicket win over Bangladesh in the first game of the RSA Series at Stormont yesterday.
The left-hander made a magnificent 108 from just 116 balls, striking no fewer than seven fours and three sixes.
His century was his eighth for his country, beating the record of seven which he had jointly held with Ivan Anderson and Jeremy Bray.
Porterfield shared in an opening stand of 118 — made in exactly 118 balls, to give Ireland the perfect platform as they chased down a potentially tricky Bangladesh total of 234 for nine.
Nineteen-year-old Middlesex batsman Paul Stirling made 52 from 57 balls (seven fours) as all the Bangladesh bowlers found the conditions tough going.
Stirling was eventually bowled by Abdur Razzak for 52, attempting one big shot too many, but that proved to be a rare success for the visitors.
Alex Cusack joined Porterfield, who continued to take the attack to the Bangladeshis at every opportunity.
He reached his record breaking hundred from 105 deliveries, but on 108, his innings was ended when he mistimed a Shakib-Al-Hasan delivery straight to Mortaza at midwicket. The rousing ovation given by the Stormont crowd was richly deserved.
Niall O’Brien was trapped by Syed Rasel with just 18 needed, but an undefeated 45 from Alex Cusack ensured that the victory was achieved with five overs to spare.
Earlier in the day Ireland opening bowlers Boyd Rankin (3-43) and Trent Johnston (2-24) both bowled superbly to have Bangladesh in early trouble at 28 for 3.
They were rescued by a stand of 107 in 153 balls between Junaid Siddique and Shakib-Al-Hasan. Siddique made a superb hundred, taking 123 balls, and which contained 9 boundaries.
Al-Hasan had several reprieves as he made exactly 50 (78 balls, 3 fours), but no other batsman was able to dominate. That was primarily due to the Irish attack keeping a tight line, backed up by an athletic display in the field.
The win is coach Phil Simmons first against a full member in a one–day international, and helps Ireland’s ambitions to received full member status.
Ireland of course beat Bangladesh during the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies, and also during the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 at Trent Bridge.
The teams meet again today, at Stormont at 10:45am. Tickets are available at the gate.
RSA Series Day 1, Stormont
Ireland 235/3 (45 overs, William Porterfield 108, Paul Stirling 52, Alex Cusack 45*, Abdur Razzak 1-47, Shakib-Al Hasan 1-52, Syed Rasel 1-54) beat Bangladesh 234/9 (50 overs, Junaid Siddique 100, Shakib-Al-Hasan 50, Boyd Rankin 3-43, Trent Johnston 2-24, Paul Stirling 2-40, Alex Cusack 1-41, Kevin O’Brien 1-44).
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