Porterfield ton boosts Ireland
Captain William Porterfield hit his sixth one-day international century as Ireland set England a target of 270 in the RSA Challenge in Dublin.
Porterfield struck 14 fours and a six in a 142-ball 112 before becoming one of four victims for former Ireland team-mate Boyd Rankin.
Seamer Rankin, who made 37 ODI appearances for Ireland, was making his England debut in the format alongside two other new faces in Michael Carberry and Gary Ballance.
It proved an inauspicious bow for Carberry, the Hampshire batsman being one of the worst offenders in a poor England fielding performance, dropping two regulation catches in the deep.
One of his misses was off Portefield on 85 and England's general sloppiness was a concern for their stand-in skipper, and another former Ireland player, Eoin Morgan.
The performance of Rankin, who finished with four for 46, was one of the team's positives, however, despite only bowling nine of his permitted 10 overs.
The 29-year-old pegged back his old team in the early stages, recovering from a wayward start to strike twice in his first spell.
Sharing new-ball responsibilities with Steven Finn, he initially showed signs of nerves as his second delivery went for five wides down the legside.
Porterfield cracked him for four later in the first over and Paul Stirling hit successive boundaries in his next but he quickly recovered.
The Warwickshire seamer found the edge of Stirling's bat to have him well caught low down by Ballance and he then removed former England batsman Ed Joyce in fortuitious circumstances.
Joyce played back to Rankin and clipped the base of a stump with his heel, gently dislodging a bail.
It took a moment for the players to register what had happened but Rankin's polite appeal was eventually upheld after umpires consulted with their TV colleague.
Interestingly it was the second time Rankin had dismissed Joyce in a one-day international, although when the first incidence occurred in the 2007 World Cup, the pair were then playing for each other's teams.
Rankin's double strike reduced the hosts to 36 for two but Porterfield began to repair the damage in a 59-run partnership with fellow left-hander Niall O'Brien for the third wicket.
One reverse sweep off James Tredwell underlined a growing confidence but the off-spinner actually proved a thorn in the side for the Irish.
Tredwell bowled his 10 overs straight through and regularly troubled the batsmen to record two for 35.
He was unlucky when O'Brien skied him to Carberry at deep midwicket and the Hampshire man failed to hold a regulation catch.
The same batsman then flashed narrowly wide of wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, a miss compounded by Ballance's comical failure to prevent a four.
His luck finally ran out when Tredwell nipped one back through his defences to bowl him for 26.
Tredwell followed up by bringing one back the other way into right-hander Gary Wilson to win a leg before decision, although replays suggested the batsman was unlucky.
Kevin O'Brien, hero of Ireland's sensational run chase in their famous Banglaore win over England in 2011, was a popular arrival at the crease.
But he was unable to build on a promising start and his slightly mistimed pull off Ravi Bopara was well held by Morgan, who was playing on his home ground at Malahide.
Porterfield made good progress towards his century but had a scare when he nicked one straight past Ballance at slip.
His innings should have ended 15 short of three figures but the hapless Carberry put down another chance in the deep.
Carberry, now a figure of fun for the crowd, also made an unimpressive entry into the attack, going for 12 off his one over with Porterfield particularly keen to get stuck in.
The Warwickshire batsman then brought up his century off 131 balls with a pulled six off Rankin.
Rankin hit back to bowl his county colleague in the 46th over and then trapped John Mooney lbw for 27 four balls later.
That briefly slowed Ireland's momentum but Max Sorensen took up the challenge, clubbing an unbeaten 24, with two sixes, in the closing overs as the hosts finished on 269 for seven.
England's selection of an under-strength side had been a source of some consternation locally, but the crowd thoroughly enjoyed a strong finish to the Ireland innings, which saw 45 come in the last five overs.
The attendance seemed short of the anticipated 10,000 but fans had hope of another surprise victory on a great occasion for Irish cricket.