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The Ireland captain's tour diary during the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in the UAE
November 20, 2013
After playing three games in three days, it was great to have two days off to recharge. Last year, at this tournament, we played 11 games in 12 days which was a pretty hectic schedule. To get those two days off in this heat was pretty key for ourselves, to get away from cricket and also to rest our bodies.
A couple of the lads played golf while George Dockrell, Niall O'Brien and I went over to Ferrari World. I know I'm going to get a bit of stick for this because I love roller coasters. The one there is unbelievable. I know I talk about it too much in the change rooms but when you're right beside it, it's something you can't not go to. You have to go there and experience it. The thrill on that roller coaster is pretty special and if you get the opportunity you have to go. I've been to Ferrari World twice on our tours to the UAE and I've gone on the ride a combination of 10 times. I don't mind jumping off, getting back down and waiting to get to the front of the queue to get back on.
We got our fourth straight win today against USA. It's always nice to get a hundred and obviously pretty pleasing in a win as well. A first century in Twenty20 cricket is also nice to get under the belt. It's not a format of the game where you come across hundreds every week but I think they have become more frequent, especially in the top three of the batting order.
Five years ago, people would've gotten 60, 70 or 80 off 40 or 50 balls, but I think now you've got to take on that onus, kick on and score hundreds. You've seen over the last year-and-a-half that people have scored big hundreds in T20 cricket so I think hundreds will become more prominent in the format. My highest T20 score for Warwickshire was 83 against Durham [in 2011] and then I ran myself out needing one to win. I haven't had a century in this format before today, so it's pretty nice to get that.
It was pretty tough especially in that heat. It was over 30 degrees Celsius today and I probably struggled more from the 11th to the 15th overs than I did in the last few overs. I was getting some fluids in every over at that point and that helped me out quite a lot. Getting salt tablets helps because I sweat quite a lot. So anything that's got a bit of energy or sodium to replace the salts, or just anything cold, helps.
USA bowled a lot of spinners but I kept my helmet on the whole time because it's just something I've always done. Even if I were playing against Under-13s, I think I'd wear a helmet. It's just something I've always done. A lot of people put a cap on if they're playing a lot of spin but personally it's something I don't really do. You run the risk of getting a top edge in the face. It obviously was pretty hot but I feel more comfortable batting in a helmet.
When they first brought the spinners on, the field was open behind square so I was using the pace on the ball to score. The spinners were generally bowling quite quick so there was a lot of deflecting and a lot of space behind the wicket. We managed to pick up a lot of twos. It's something you try to do in this format of the game: play with people's fields, hit the ball into gaps where there aren't fielders and maximise your runs-per-scoring-ball percentage. It's something that we talk about, scoring a lot of twos especially on these bigger grounds. If you can score four or five twos in an over, you're up to eight to ten runs an over. So it's not all about power hitting, but it obviously does help when you can clear the ropes and keep the scoring rate up.
Tomorrow we play Italy, who gave us a scare last year in this tournament and then Uganda on Friday. We're 4-0 now, but we still have two big days of cricket again before we get another off day.
William Porterfield is the captain of Ireland
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