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This was the perfect send-off for Johnston: Porterfield

Ireland captain celebrates winning the third ICC tournament for the calendar year

This was the perfect send-off for Johnston: Porterfield - Cricket News
Trent Johnston gets a fairytale send off by Ireland.
Ireland defeated Afghanistan on Friday (December 14) in the Intercontinental Cup final to win the title for the fourth time in six editions. With the win, Ireland also achieved the unique feat of winning three International Cricket Council tournaments across three different formats in a calendar year, something that has never been achieved before. 
 
Ireland captain William Porterfield did not even try to mask his joy when asked about the victory. “It is a massive win for several reasons. It is obviously our third trophy this year. We won the two qualification tournaments, the 50-over and the 20-over ones. To be able to finish it off in the four-day stuff was a great effort. Obviously, signing Trent Johnston off in his last game for Ireland was a great way to send him off with the victory today. I wish him all the best," he said. 
 
Johnston, a former Ireland captain, had announced that the Intercontinental Cup final would be his last outing with the team. "This was the perfect send-off for Trent. He is a traditionalist of the game; he loves this format,” said Porterfield. “In the last 24 hours, he has not been keeping well. He missed the last session yesterday. Obviously, even this morning he was not able to get back on the park. Everyone was upset for him and I am sure no one more than him was more disappointed. 
 
"He would have loved to have been out there taking those wickets. There would have been no one more pleased than him to see some of the lads step up and take the wickets. Especially John Mooney taking ten for the game. That's the kind of bloke Trent is, he would have been pleased to see John go out and do that. That's the fitting way for Trent to sign off and pick up that trophy.”
 
Johnston picked up 66 wickets in the 67 One-Day Internationals he played for Ireland and scored 743 runs at an average of close to 20. In November, Johnston starred in the World Twenty20 Qualifier when he backed his 32-ball 62 with three Afghanistan wickets to lead Ireland to victory.
 
When asked about the secret to his team's success in recent times, Porterfield stressed on the role played by Johnston, Ireland's first ODI captain. "I think it is all because of the hard work we put in. We are a pretty hard working bunch any time we come away on tour. Over the last four or five years we have become a lot more professional outfit both on and off the pitch. I think that has helped us massively with our cricket. Obviously a big part of that over the last ten years has been Trent Johnston. He has been a massive figure since a lot of this team started playing.
 
"I made my debut under Trent. I have played some 160-170 times with him. He is going to be a big loss for us. There are a lot of young lads who have learnt a lot from him. There are a lot of lads now chomping at the bit to take his place. Just reinforcing the fact that we have been the best associate side especially this year. That's the most pleasing thing for ourselves and a fitting way to send Trent off."
 
Ireland won the ICC World Cricket League Championship title in the 50-over format in October, the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier tournament in November, and the Intercontinental Cup title in the longer format in what were comprehensive and convincing victories.
 
Porterfield was obviously pleased with the performances. "It is a fantastic feeling. We had obviously set out to do that. We won the 50-over stuff with a couple of games to go. It was a great effort for us,” he said. “And I think we only lost one game throughout that campaign which was great.
 
“Coming here (UAE) last month and beating Afghanistan in the Twenty20 Qualifier final was great. Doing it the way we did was very pleasing for us, especially as we move forward in the next few months and in the build-up to Bangladesh with the brand of cricket we played in that format. Obviously in the last few days we were behind in this final after Day one was a great effort from the lads to come back turn it around and win it pretty convincingly in the end.”
 
Ireland will now look at extending its winning run in ICC tournaments by putting on a good show in Bangladesh at the ICC World Twenty20 next year.

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