Adelaide: Captain William Porterfield made a composed century before Pakistan seamers staged a fightback to bowl out Ireland for 237 in a must-win final pool B match of the ICC Cricket World Cup here today.
The 30-year-old opening batsman Porterfield made 107, but the Pakistanis came back to snare five wickets conceding only 49 runs in the last 10 overs.
Wahab Riaz was the most successful bowler for Pakistan, returning figures of 3/54, while there were two wickets apiece for Sohail Khan and Rahat Ali.
Opting to bat after winning the toss, Porterfield led by example and defied the Pakistani bowlers with elan at the Adelaide Oval.
But even as the Irish skipper stood firm, other top batsmen such as Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce and Niall O’Brien failed to prosper.
Porterfield emerged as lone ranger with the others throwing away their wickets at regular intervals.
That he had only two stands of 48 runs each, with Andy Balbirnie (18) and Gary Wilson (29) for the fourth and fifth wicket respectively, indicate that Porterfield badly lacked support from the other end.
Having won three out of their last five matches in the ongoing tournament, Ireland came into this final game with high hopes of making a maiden quarterfinal appearance in the quadrennial extravaganza.
Porterfield showed the right intent, mixing caution with aggression en route to his seventh ODI hundred, but the others left a lot to be desired.
He found the fence 11 times and cleared it once during his 131-ball knock.
The Irish captain, though, was lucky to have survived a scare when he was batting on 99, as Rahat Ali failed to hold onto a catch off his own bowling. Porterfield played an uppish drive but the ball burst through Rahat’s hands, allowing the batsman to come back for two runs and reach the three-figure mark.
For the record, there was another return catch dropped later in the innings, by Riaz when he was up against John Mooney.