Porterfield’s ton helps Ireland beat B’desh
Belfast: Ireland captain William Porterfield inspired his side to another success against a Test-playing nation as Bangladesh were beaten by seven wickets in a one-day international in Belfast on Thursday.
Porterfield hit 108 from 116 balls at Stormont to ensure Ireland easily chased down Bangladesh`s total of 234-9 with seven wickets and five overs to spare.
The victory will serve to strengthen Ireland`s case for more top-level opposition as the team, which defeated Pakistan at the 2007 World Cup, continues to improve rapidly.
Ireland were on top from the start and quickly reduced Bangladesh to 25-3, with Trent Johnston and Boyd Rankin doing the damage.
Imrul Kayes and the in-form Tamim Iqbal made just five each, while Jahurul Islam departed with just three runs to his name.
Bangladesh, who had claimed a first ever win over England last Saturday, recovered reasonably well thanks to Junaid Siddique`s 100 from 123 balls and 50 from Shakib Al Hasan.
Junaid brought up his century off his 121st delivery, nine of which he hit for four. But he lasted just two more balls as Kevin O`Brien claimed his wicket.
Despite some powerful hitting from Mashrafe Mortaza in the closing overs, Bangladesh`s total always looked within reach for Ireland once Porterfield got into his stride.
The 25-year-old left-hander, who plays English county cricket for Gloucestershire, struck seven fours and three sixes on the way to his fifth one-day international century.
With opening partner Paul Stirling hitting seven fours in his 50, Ireland were well on course for victory by the time the first wicket fell at 118.
Porterfield was joined by Alex Cusack, who scored a composed 45 from 77 balls, and the pair were so comfortable that even the loss of two wickets late on couldn`t derail the hosts.
Ireland will aim to repeat this emphatic victory when the sides meet again at the same venue on Friday.