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Match Report

George Dockrell and Max Sorensen took three wickets apiece to bowl Ireland to a seven run win in a rain affected T20I against Papua New Guinea in Townsville.

Frequent showers reduced the contest to just 11 overs a side, and Ireland overcame the first ball dismissal of Andrew Balbirnie - one of three changes to Saturday's side - to post 96 for 5.

Balbirnie was drafted in along with Middlesex team-mate Tim Murtagh and Stuart Poynter in place of the O'Brien brothers and Paul Stirling as Ireland's preparations for the World T20 in India next month continued.

Skipper William Porterfield and Stuart Poynter scored a flurry of boundaries in the opening power-play to give Ireland a perfect platform.

Porterfield scored 30 off just 15 balls (3 fours, 1 six) before being bowled by Asad Vala (2-19).

Poynter cleared the ropes twice as he top scored with 35 from 24 balls, but with his dismissal Ireland's run blitz faltered in the last four overs.

They added just 26 runs in the last four overs to finish on 96 for 5 - debutant Pipi Raho claiming 3 for 11.

Asad Vala (25) gave the Pacific Islanders a rapid start, but his dismissal saw the hosts implode.

They lost seven wickets for just 22 runs slipping from 41 for 2 to 63 for 9, with Dockrell (3-18), Sorensen (3-24), and McBrine (2-7) the destroyers-in-chief.

A late flourish from Norman Vanua, who hit two maximums in his undefeated 26, almost replicated his famous heroics at Stormont last summer. However his charge came too late as Ireland held on to win by seven runs and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

Irish captain William Porterfield reached a landmark with the tense victory - it was his 100th as captain in 175 games. Speaking after the game, Porterfield said: "It's great to be 2-0 up in the series with two solid performances. To be asked to bat first in potentially tricky conditions with the rain around I thought the lads did really well.

"The bowlers then, as they have done all trip, backed that up with another great display to win the game."

The final match in the series takes place on Tuesday at the same venue. Ireland then travel to the UAE where they will play a warm-up against a club side, before taking on the hosts in two T20I's.


(Cricket Ireland)