ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features

Bangladesh v Ireland, World Cup 2011, Group B, Mirpur

Porterfield rues batting lapses

The words 'spirited' and 'plucky' will again be used to describe an Ireland performance, but this was a game they really should have won

Sidharth Monga in Mirpur

February 25, 2011

Comments: 16 | Text size: A | A

They get their big chance once every four years, but Ireland won the hearts once again with a spirited show in the field. However, they couldn't win a game that they ought to have secured with plenty to spare. Not many sides come back from the hammering TamimIqbal dished out in the first half hour of the game, but Ireland did so through intelligent bowling and energetic fielding. However, their batting didn't quite have the wits their effort in the field had shown.

It took Ireland four overs to realise that they would need to take the pace off on this surface, and Boyd Rankin's pace would prove to be his enemy. They did so with their imitation of New Zealand's famous dibbly-dobblies. Andre Botha, John Mooney and Trent Johnston kept bowling accurately, kept rolling their fingers either side of the ball every now and then, and the fielders supported them superbly.

With the bat, however, Ireland were as frozen as they were free-flowing in the field. Until Shafiul Islam came back to mow down the last four off with a devastating spell of reverse-swing, hardly any batsmen fell to a wicket-taking delivery, and that's what should irk an honest side like Ireland. At any rate, their opportunities on the world stage are so limited, chasing 206 in the subcontinent is not a chance they should be wasting.

Ireland's captain William Porterfield was the first to take the blame. He chipped the first delivery bowled by Shakib Al Hasan to short midwicket. "I played a poor shot. I was as frustrated as I have been in a while," he said. "You can't afford to do things like that in any cricket, let alone major tournaments. I let myself down, I let my team down in the way I got out. Regardless we should have knocked those runs off. We should have taken more responsibilities."

What will be doubly frustrating is that Ireland's best bets in the middle order, the O'Brien brothers, got off to starts, but holed out in the deep. If either one of them had doubled his score in the high 30s, Ireland would have been through comfortably. They came that close. And both looked good to do exactly that. Especially Niall O'Brien, who looked the best batsman of the day, reading the spinners' lengths early, moving his feet decisively, and finding gaps instinctively. That instinct failed him when he went a bit too hard at a chip shot. It becomes that much more poignant when you think how it was Niall O'Brien who started Ireland's turnaround in the first place, with a flashy, inspirational stumping down the leg side to dispatch Imrul Kayes.

Porterfield said it should never have been a case of "so near, yet so far". It shouldn't have even been close, in his opinion. "If you ask Shakib [Al Hasan], he would say they won it, the way they came out fighting. I think they did that. [However] If we ask ourselves, we should chase 200 against any team in this tournament in any conditions. I think we'll say we lost it, they might say they won it.

"We were never going to struggle to get four an over in 50 overs, but if you get bowled out you are not going to win games," he added. "We just kept losing wickets. Anytime we looked like we had a partnership going, we lost wickets. You can't afford to do that at any level."

A measure of Ireland's inexperience at the highest level is that this was the first time they were playing a day-night ODI, and perhaps the first time they came up against such an imposing crowd. However, Porterfield said that the crowd didn't play any role in their capitulation with the bat. "I actually enjoyed the atmosphere," he said. "That's what you want to play in front of. You want to play in front of packed houses. And fanatical fans, like Bangladesh has. I don't think it had any effect whatsoever. If you turn up at a stadium and find a full house, if you can't get yourself up for a game, then there is something wrong with you. In my opinion, the crowd didn't really have an effect."

It can be a demoralising way to lose, but Porterfield said his side was capable of leaving what happened in Dhaka in Dhaka. "There were a few poor shots in there," he said. "We will take a look at ourselves. The way we have been playing, the two warm-up games, the preparations we have had, we have let ourselves down a bit. [But] If we play the way we have been playing over the last couple of weeks, then I don't think we will have major issues going forward."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 16 
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Posted by Ehsan on (February 27, 2011, 11:13 GMT)

Thanks very much Mr. Monga for your another one-sided write-up! Once again you tried to undermine Bangladesh's effort so openly. You termed Ireland's bowling and fielding "intelligent and energetic" by disgracing Bangladesh's belligerent effort. Not only that you also termed our fans as "imposing", "fanatic" etc. Well, where were you when India was on the verge of losing semi-final match against Sri Lanka at Kolkata? We can still remember the show-down of your well-mannered crowd presented in front of the world! I can understand the pain you still posses, the dreadful memory of that "unsensible" bangladesh defeated India so vigorously in 2007 world cup. In that case, I can only say, "can't help"! There is one more thing I should remind you is that, no one tells us when to roar or how to roar! Love it or leave it. You better do the second!!!

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 26, 2011, 19:44 GMT)

ireland well played. They got bigger chance against west indies who are ranked below bangladesh in the current icc odi rakning.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 26, 2011, 14:11 GMT)

ok now i am an ireland fan :) that's my next favorite team after bangla. if you can't beat england you don't deserve to be called irish !!! :D

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 26, 2011, 14:04 GMT)

I would just like to say that this Irish team has some very talented cricketers, most notably the O'Brien brothers, William Porterfield, and Ed Joyce (former England International and former Captain of Middlesex). But this was simply Bangladesh's night. Ireland succumbed because they were put under pressure, and that is why they played those poor shots. This battle was won by Bangladesh in the mind. The Irish team lacked the temperament to finish off this game, as simple as that. Take it from someone who was there at the stadium. Ireland succumbed to spin, reverse swing, and the 25,000 strong crowd who kept clapping...BANGLADESH! BANGLADESH! :-)

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 26, 2011, 11:49 GMT)

Bangladeshis, you just scrapped through. Dont get over confident. Reading some of their comments here, it seems so. Give due respect to the opposing team.

Posted by james on (February 26, 2011, 9:41 GMT)

i think this result shows that there is little difference in the ability of the irish and bangledeshi teams. This is further highlighted when u look at past results between the 2 teams. Basically it came down to a few key moments and ireland lapsed.We thre it away

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 26, 2011, 9:02 GMT)

Now every bangladeshi will be behind Ireland. Beat 2 teams in the world cup , which wouid be great for us to take the advantage ;) Black and Green xxDD

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 26, 2011, 7:04 GMT)

Had Bangladesh lost the match, Sakib would have given a similar explanation: we have lost it, our batsmen let us down. Captains always talk like that. Didn't Sakib say something similar after losing to India that our bowlers gave 50 or 60 extra runs, instead of saying Sewag was just too good for his bowlers and got his team those extra runs. Bangladesh should be given their due credit for their winning efforts in fielding and bowling. Their efforts put pressure on the Irish and got the poor shots out of them. Reverse of it happened when Bangladesh batted.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 26, 2011, 6:42 GMT)

You just stop to make some issue. bangladesh have not batted well, thats why you people got a chance to winning that match. In pen picture there is long distance in between you & Bng. It would be a up-sate if bd lost to ireland any time.

Posted by AARON HUSSEIN on (February 25, 2011, 23:38 GMT)

Only India have made a big run against Bangladesh... no other team can't do more... hope in Finalat Mumbai Bangladesh will meet again India & will take revange

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