William Porterfield is quietly confident that Ireland can cause another major cricketing upset in this week’s RSA Insurance One-Day International Series against Sri Lanka at Clontarf.
The Twenty20 world champions are in Dublin for a two-game series on Tuesday and Thursday at the Castle Avenue venue and the Ireland skipper believes that his top order’s early-season good form, combined with favourable local conditions, can inspire Ireland to victory.
Speaking to RTÉ Sport ahead of the opening encounter, Porterfield said: “It’s early season in Ireland, so you normally get it (the ball) to do a bit, so the seamers will be looking forward to getting out there on a pitch that hopefully might do a bit for us.
“Joycey (Ed Joyce) has had a phenomenal start to the season and has three or four hundreds already and Nobby (Niall O’Brien) got a hundred last week, and I’ve had a couple of good starts myself.
“So it’s good that the lads are coming in with a good bit of form and it’s important that we bring it all together for Ireland.”
Ireland missed out on a chance to secure a series victory over Pakistan last summer having tied the first game and then effectively throwing away an excellent chance to secure the victory in the deciding game.
"It’s good that the lads are coming in with a good bit of form"
But Porterfield believes that his side have learned from that and admits that it is important to perform for the entire match instead of periods of good form, and to take wickets throughout the innings.
“Not getting over the line against Pakistan was certainly disappointing. What we have done well in out last few one-day matches at home is that we have taken early wickets. So we just need to come up with ways to take wickets throughout the innings.
“In one-day cricket you see a lot of teams setting up for the back end of the innings and looking to have wickets in hand. So if we can take wickets throughout the innings, it delays the death period and puts more pressure on the opposition’s batting.”
And while Ireland cricket fans will be disappointed not to get to witness the bowling enigma that is Lasith Malinga, Porterfield knows that his side have a better chance of victory without having to face the ‘Slinga’.
“Any team that turns up and Malinga is not playing, it’s going to be a positive for them,” added Porterfield. “But I wouldn’t be underestimating the Sri Lanka side that are coming here. They have rested a couple of lads for the England series, but they have a lot of good young cricketers who have played a fair bit of cricket and are chomping at the bit to get going.”
In team news, Alec Cusack should be fit to play having trained both days with the side since pulling out of an Interprovincial clash at the weekend.