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William Porterfield is aware of the challenges Afghanistan will pose in these conditions

Balbirnie ton puts Ireland in command

Ire v Ned, ICC I-Cup Day 1 Match Report

Porterfield and Anderson hit half-centuries as Ireland finishes first day on 292 for 2.

Andy Balbirnie's maiden first-class century and fifties from William Porterfield and John Anderson helped Ireland reach a solid 292 for 2 from 96 overs on the first day of the ICC Intercontinental Cup clash against Netherlands on Tuesday.

On being asked to bat in Dublin, Ireland responded with a steady opening stand of 75 runs between Ed Joyce and William Porterfield before the former was removed for 43 by Peter Borren, the Netherlands captain. Joyce’s 65-ball 43 was built around six boundaries.

Porterfield, the Ireland captain, was more measured in his approach, scoring 60 in 149 deliveries before Shane Snater, the right-arm seamer, dismissed him.

Balbirnie was solid throughout, first staging a 67-run partnership with Porterfield and then adding an unbroken 150 with John Anderson for the third wicket to see Ireland off to stumps in a commanding position.

Balbirnie ended the day with 130 runs against his name, while Anderson will resume his essay at 57.

Borren, with his right-arm seam, was the pick of the bowlers, not only taking the key wicket of Joyce, but also maintaining a tight economy rate of just over 2.3. However, Netherlands will keenly hope to make more breakthroughs early on the second day to try and reign the home side in.

As it stands now, Ireland - with four wins and a defeat from five games - are second on the points table narrowly behind Afghanistan. Netherlands, with only two wins from five games, is placed third and will seek to make upward movement.

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