Porter­field bank­ing on county ex­pe­ri­ence, lo­cal con­di­tions as Ire­land get ready for Test de­but

The Miracle - - Sports - Source: Scroll.In

Ire­land cap­tain Wil­liam Porter­field hopes a com­bi­na­tion of lo­cal con­di­tions and English county cricket ex­pe­ri­ence will work in his side’s favour when they make their Test de­but at home to Pak­istan later this week. Both the Ire­land and Afghanistan teams were el­e­vated to Test sta­tus last year, mak­ing them el­i­gi­ble for the five-day for­mat. But it is Ire­land who will be­come the 11th men’s cricket Test na­tion when they face Pak­istan in a one-off match start­ing in Malahide, near Dublin, on Fri­day. No side has en­joyed a vic­tory in its first Test since Aus­tralia beat Eng­land in the foun­da­tion Test at Melbourne back in 1877 and it would be an up­set were Ire­land to get off to a win­ning start. Ire­land, how­ever, did spring a huge sur­prise when they knocked Pak­istan out of the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean, al­though that was in a one-day in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment. But what en­cour­ages Porter­field ahead of Fri­day’s game is that early sea­son con­di­tions in Ire­land, which can aid swing bowl­ing and present a par­tic­u­lar chal­lenge to bats­men, could prove tough for a Pak­istan side brought up on slower, lower and more spin-friendly pitches in the sub-con­ti­nent. Pak­istan, how­ever, have been ac­cli­ma­tis­ing with two warm-up matches against English county clubs .ent and Northamp­ton­shire. “It’s in Ire­land, it’s in May, so it’s in our own con­di­tions,” Porter­field told the Ir­ish In­de­pen­dent. “You face Test bowlers in Cham­pi­onship games in Eng­land, and in white-ball cricket,” said Porter­field, a for­mer Glouces­ter­shire and War­wick­shire bats­man. “The big­gest dif­fer­ence I found is that they are just a bit more re­lent­less, they don’t give you as many bad balls,” he added. “Scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties are few and far be­tween; you’ve got to be ready to cap­i­talise when they miss that length. “It’s the same when you’re bowl­ing against top play­ers: ”

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