CRICKET: Ireland defeat Papua New Guinea after late rally

Ireland captain, William Porterfield, who hit a century
Ireland captain, William Porterfield, who hit a century

Will Porterfield struck a century as Ireland overcame Tony Ura’s remarkable innings of 151 to beat Papua New Guinea by four wickets and bolster their World Cup qualification hopes.

Skipper Porterfield led from the front, hitting 111 to help his side overhaul a victory target of 236 with five balls remaining in Harare.

Ed Joyce provided assistance with 53, sharing a third-wicket stand of 108 with Porterfield, to ensure Ireland put themselves in pole position for the Super Sixes with a second win from as many qualifiers.

Ireland were in complete control after winning the toss and reducing PNG to 116 for seven in the 33rd over, but Ura kept his side in the game with a remarkable 142-ball knock.

The opener was the only batsman in the top seven to register double figures, blasting 10 fours and six maximums before becoming Kevin O’Brien’s second victim in the final over.

Andy McBrine led the attack with three for 38 from 10 overs while Boyd Rankin matched O’Brien’s two wickets.

Porterfield lacked support either side of his partnership with Joyce and despite departing shortly before O’Brien with 20 still required, Ireland got home in the final over courtesy of Gary Wilson and George Dockrell.