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May 29, 2011
William Porterfield, the Ireland captain, said his side had "let a few people down" by surrendering tamely to Pakistan in the first of two one-dayers in Belfast, and put his side's disappointing performance of 96 all out down to a lack of application with the bat. Opener Paul Stirling got them off to a flyer in the rain-reduced game, but once he departed, Ireland, to their detriment, did not rein in their strokeplay on a pitch that was offering the seamers a fair bit of assistance.
"The way Paul started I think a few lads got caught up in that and thought it was a bit flatter," Porterfield said. "It did seam about a bit and there were some poor shots. It was going to be difficult but I don't think we acquitted ourselves as we should have.
"There were too many bad shots and not enough application at the crease, especially after losing a couple of early wickets which can happen on any day. I think to keep losing wickets, we just folded too easily. We never put a partnership together. You never know on a wicket like that if you can scrap 160 or 170 in a reduced game you can contain teams and put them under pressure."
The series is a significant one for Ireland, as the ICC chief executive committee meets in a month's time to discuss whether to overturn their decision to omit the Associates nations from the 2015 World Cup. Ireland's impressive showing in the 2011 World Cup has garnered global support for their right to play in the next edition of the tournament, but their capitulation against Pakistan on Saturday suggested there is still a gap to be bridged between them and the top teams.
"We've let a few people down today but we'll be looking to turn that around come Monday," Porterfield said. "We are disappointed in the way we performed today. We wanted to put on a performance for the fans that turned out and keep a buzz around Irish cricket."
He, however, stuck to the stand taken by him and coach Phil Simmons before the series began, in saying the ICC's decision over the 2015 World Cup was not the top-most thing on their minds.
"It is disappointing to make 96, but as I've said before it [the World Cup decision] is not something we think about or put in the forefront of our minds. We go out there with a plan to win a game and we didn't do that today. We didn't execute anything with the bat. We didn't put any type of performance together."
The next one-dayer is at the same venue, the Civil Service Cricket Club in Stormont, on May 30, and despite the seven-wicket loss Porterfield was positive about his team's chances of levelling the series.
"I think it's a mental think more than anything. It is something that will come together if everyone brings their A-game. We have to rectify that for Monday; we will do that."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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