IRELAND’s fell short in their attempt to record a first home win over England after a six-wicket loss in Dublin.
The one-day international at Malahide had looked set for a thrilling finish after Ireland’s captain Will Porterfield, who earlier lost the toss, led from the front with a 112 run innings from 142 balls to help his side post an impressive 269-7 from 50 overs.
The skipper – who batted until the 46th over before being dismissed – was aided at the crease by short but significant partnerships with Niall O’Brien (26), Kevin O’Brien (23) and John Mooney (27).
Ireland, who were underdogs going into the game, batted sensibly throughout their innings before blitzing 90 runs from the last ten overs.
The home side’s total was further boosted by key lower-order contributions, in particular from second generation Irishman Max Sorensen, whose 24 runs from 17 balls included two big sixes off English paceman Steven Finn.
Sorensen’s blows had a boisterous sell-out crowd of 10,000 on the outskirts of Dublin in raptures.
In reply, England lost three early wickets and were 48-4 at one point with Tim Murtagh (3-33) the pick of Ireland’s bowlers.
However unbeaten centuries from England-playing Irishman Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara suddenly swung what was an entertaining game – that will surely strengthen Ireland’s bid for test cricket by 2020 – in the visitors’ favour.
The pair set a world record fifth wicket stand of 226 to see England home with seven overs remaining.