Ireland target rankings jump
William Porterfield, the Ireland captain, has said the extra motivation of moving above Zimbabwe in the ICC rankings will egg his side on to complete a 2-0 sweep of Bangladesh in the one-dayers in Belfast. Ireland comprehensively won the first match on Thursday by seven wickets, with Porterfield's unbeaten century being the cornerstone of the victory.
"It is only a fantastic result if we can make it 2-0 tomorrow [Friday]," Porterfield said after Thursday's win. "We need to win both games to stay above Zimbabwe in the [ODI rankings] table and that will be the target." A loss in the second ODI will keep Ireland in 11th spot, while a win will push them to 40 points, six clear of 10th-ranked Zimbabwe.
In the first game, Porterfield was named Man of the Match for his fifth ODI century - his first against a Test-playing nation. His brisk 118-run opening stand with Paul Stirling set up a comfortable victory with five overs to spare. "That's as good an innings as I've ever played for Ireland," he said. "I was feeling good from the word go. Paul Stirling took a lot of the pressure off me with the way he batted. After that Alex Cusack was solid and made sure there would be no collapse."
The one aspect of the team's performance he was unhappy with was the fielding. "We dropped a couple of catches, so we will be out to eradicate that, but the team have been batting like that for a while now and it was great to carry on the form the lads showed in Holland."