Porterfield targets upset as Ireland prepare for Test debut
Ireland can make the most of home advantage and spring a surprise when they take on Pakistan in their maiden Test, according to captain William Porterfield.
Afghanistan and Ireland were awarded Full Member status by the International Cricket Council (ICC) last June, confirming them as the 11th and 12th Test-playing nations.
However, the newest members of the top table have had to wait patiently for their opportunity to play in the longest format of the game.
Ireland finally get to make their debut this week against Pakistan - and a confident Porterfield has warned the tourists, who selected five uncapped players in their 16-man squad, not to expect an easy ride in Malahide.
"You never would have thought this was going to happen. To host a Test match against Pakistan in front of thousands of Irish fans, and millions more around the world watching it," the former Warwickshire batsman said in an interview with The42.
"It's nice to think we've contributed to Cricket Ireland moving forward and when, as a team, we look back in years to come, there will be a lot of pride there.
"But our job this week is to go out and perform and showcase why we have deserved this chance and why we belong at the top table. There's a game of cricket to be played and we're here to win it.
"They have a number of new players in their squad and there will be pressure on them too and all of our preparations have been about how best we can win the game.
"It will be difficult for them to come here in these conditions and with our attack, we can put them under a lot of pressure.
"Can we win? There's absolutely no reason why we can't beat them and take them down and make history. That's the challenge for us now."
Porterfield will lead an experienced home team that could also include former England internationals Ed Joyce and Boyd Rankin, as well as brothers Niall and Kevin O'Brien.
After the one-off game against Ireland, Pakistan face England in a two-match series that gets underway at Lord's on May 24.