Ireland out to seal the deal before the party begins
Second victory in Amsterdam would confirm World Cup qualification for 2015
William Porterfield batting for Warwickshire. The Ireland skipper enjoyed his knock of 79 in Holland on Sunday.
It’s a mark of the professionalism that courses through the Ireland cricket team just now that questions over celebrations following Sunday’s 88-run victory over the Netherlands were met with replies that the party won’t start until the job is done.
That job, of course, is qualification for the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and a victory in today’s second One-Day International at Amstelveen will not just confirm Ireland’s place but also will wrap up the World Cricket League title with two games against Scotland still to play.
Ireland skipper William Porterfield revealed yesterday that Sunday’s tricky pitch at the VRA Cricket Club played not just into the hands of his bowlers as they rolled the Dutch for just 148, but provided him with much needed time in the middle in what has been a difficult season at Warwickshire for the left-hander.
“It probably suited where I am at the minute, having to grind it out and just bat through. It was quite nice to spend time in the middle,” said Porterfield, who top-scored with 79 and spent all but the last five balls of the innings at the crease in Ireland’s total of 236.
The depth of bowling resources available to Porterfield also showed in Sunday’s win, with Kevin O’Brien enjoying his best ODI spell for Ireland, taking four wickets for 13 in seven overs.
“That wicket would have suited him down to the ground, but it was a fantastic spell,” admitted Porterfield. “The wicket was fairly abrasive and was reversing early on and he’s great at exploiting those skills, as is John Mooney.
“It’s wonderful to have those resources, George Dockrell is probably perceived as our biggest threat with the ball, but he only bowled four overs in the end.”
The Ireland squad just took a pool recovery session yesterday, avoiding the nets on what was a blistering warm day in the city, but Porterfield said his players are fully focused on finishing off the job before letting their hair down tonight. “Tomorrow we can not just qualify, but we can win the group as well, so that’s what we will be aiming to do.”
The Hills opening bowler Max Sorensen may come in to contention for today’s clash, having impressed with the new ball in the Intercontinental Cup clash against the Dutch last week in Deventer. Still uncapped in One-Day Internationals, Sorensen has impressed at club and interprovincial level also this season and looks ready to make the step up.