After losing the first ODI against Afghanistan, Ireland have made a strong comeback in the series by winning the second ODI as they chased down the required target and won the game by 3 wickets.
Tim Murtagh took 4 for 30 to help Ireland square the series and the Irish skipper was rich in praise pf his paceman. "Tim is a fantastic performer – he’s been doing it for the last 20 years now," said Porterfield. "He knows his job and knows what he is doing. It’s great to see him get his rewards for everything he’s done. He’s just such a consistent performer for us."
Ireland take ODI series to a decider after beating Afghanistan by three wickets, and recording their first win of the tour!— ICC (@ICC) August 29, 2018
Tim Murtagh picks up four scalps for the second time in consecutive games ????
READ ⤵️https://t.co/QumQNd3psy pic.twitter.com/ObRFKzt9VT
Ireland's chase wasn't easy as they lost key batsmen in single-digit scores. Porterfield, Kevin O'Brien and Niall O'Brien were dismissed for 0, 8 and 10 respectively.
Andrew Balbirnie, however, stuck it out and scored a 92-ball 60, his second consecutive half-century, while Simi Singh added late impetus with an unbeaten 36, helping Ireland secure victory in 43.5 overs.
“The way the boys stuck at it for 50 overs was great – we asked for a bit more today and we got that," said Porterfield. "It was always going to be a scrappy game, but it was really nice for Simi to see it through at the end. The biggest thing for him was seeing that through at the end."
"It’s good for him and good for his confidence. How he went about it, it’s a different skill in itself to manoeuvre it around and bat with the lower order.
“And Balbo [Balbirnie] getting back-to-back fifties in scrappy conditions, it’s great to see him do that and fight through, even looking pretty fluent at times."
Porterfield also hailed his team's effort in the field. “We were pretty good in the field today, and if we had the same application as today with the bat in the first game then we would likely be standing here two-nil up,"
"I’m really happy with how we went about it today, especially with the ball, and if we can bring that into Friday and get a few more partnerships then it will make things a little bit easier."
The third ODI between the two teams now will be a decider on Friday at Belfast.
(With ICC Inputs)