William Portefield defends Ireland team selection

Ireland lost to the Netherlands
Ireland lost to the Netherlands

Ireland captain William Porterfield spoke out against the clamour for change after Ireland’s World Twenty20 Qualifying campaign ended in disappointing defeat to The Netherlands.

The scheduled third and fourth place play-off against Hong Kong on Sunday morning was rained off, meaning Ireland take third place courtesy of their superior world ranking.

Porterfield’s men are on the plane to India, but they have flattered to deceive on home soil during what was new coach John Bracewell’s first major tournament since taking over from Phil Simmons.

A series of poor batting displays undermined Ireland throughout, and that was encapsulated by the collapse during Saturday’s five-wicket defeat at Malahide.

The post mortem has already centred on whether Ireland picked the right 15-man squad for the tournament but Warwickshire batsman Porterfield insisted he was happy with the hand dealt to him by the selectors.

He hit back at suggestions that Ireland should follow the route of the Dutch who have ruthlessly recruited players from overseas.

“I’m very happy with where we are at,” said Porterfield. “After not getting a chance in the World Cup, Craig Young has come on, Peter Chase has been injured. TK (Tyrone Kane), coming into this competition, is a young and skiddy bowler, he is going to be very effective going forward.

“We have got the players, we just need to give them the experience We wouldn‘t be having these conversations if we had put the runs on the board in the competition. We played 160-170 cricket when it was 140 or 145 that was a winning scoring. ”The pitches have been slower, and I think the pitches got a bit tired up at Stormont, but we have to got to be good enough adapt to what is put in front of us. I wouldn’t blame too much on the pitches. As far as the bowling is concerned, I wouldn’t fault anyone at all, the batters have got to hold their hands up.”

Ireland’s failure to adapt to their own conditions with the bat - a problem which dogged them right from the beginning of the competition - was once again their biggest failing against the Dutch. However, Porterfield denied they had been too cautious.

“It is a disappointing defeat. I think it’s been pretty similar story to what has gone on in the tournament so far when the batters didn’t do their job or get enough on the board,” he said.

“But I’m not too disappointed with how we went about it. There was a lot of intent there but we just fell away again. It’s pretty similar to a lot of games that happened before. I haven’t looked at stats or anything yet on paper but again there are probably four or five overs when we scored less than five off them. That stops you getting from a competitive or par score up to a winning total.”

Ireland were unquestionably hampered by an achilles injury sustained by Paul Stirling. The opening batsman was unable to bowl his off-spinners, a blow after his decisive contribution against Jersey.

Porterfield also swatted away controversy about Niall O’Brien’s omission, saying that the Northants man wouldn’t have solved Ireland’s problems in the lower middle order.

He added: “Whoever is selected we are good enough to do the job, we haven’t done that.”