Friends Provident Trophy (at Belfast) Warwickshire 211-7 (T Frost 56) v Ireland 212-6 (W T S Porterfield 69). Ireland beat Warwickshire by 4 wkts.

Under the shadow of the Stormont Assembly, Warwickshire became the first county in four years to lose in Ireland.

The Bears' abject one-day form hit a fresh low as they were made to fight tooth and nail to muster a competitive total after Darren Maddy had won the toss, then were strapped into the back seat as Ireland's batsmen got off to a flyer.

The Irish had won only once, against Gloucestershire, in two-and-a-half seasons of group combat in the Friends Provident Trophy, and they were never likely to waltz over the line. Neil Carter and Ant Botha pegged them back but William Porterfield stuck around to anchor a first win under his captaincy, by four wickets, with an obdurate 69.

Cape Town-born Reinhardt Strydom had signalled aggressive intent at the start of the innings. Chasing 212, the left-hander laid into Monde Zondeki and then coped beautifully with the transition to Darren Maddy, easing him for four on either side of the wicket.

Maddy soon got his man but 17-year-old Paul Stirling, in the middle of his A/S Level exams, added 27 in 31 balls to keep the hosts on top of the run rate.

All in green rode their luck but Porterfield used every bit of the limited-overs nous that opened the eyes of the world to Irish cricket at last year's World Cup. His lingering presence left just 39 required off the last 10 overs, and Kevin O'Brien's massive straight six off Maddy hastened the end.

Porterfield was brilliantly caught in the gully by Jonathan Trott 16 short of the target, but by now Warwickshire looked as resigned as they were ragged and the end came with 20 balls to spare.

There were boos from the pavilion balcony as some of Warwickshire's 100-odd travelling fans registered their disgust.

With the bat, the Bears had been indebted to Tony Frost for digging them out of a hole. The wicket-keeper made 56 off 67 balls in a sixth-wicket stand of 91 with Michael Powell, without which Ireland's chase would have been a breeze.

Frost came in at the nadir of 93-5, with Ian Westwood (41) and Luke Parker (9) having just gifted their wickets to a 22-year-old left-arm spinner Gary Kidd, who offered the kind of flight that is irresistible to the injudicious.

Westwood, having chased O'Brien out of the Ireland attack with consecutive boundaries, threw a reverse-sweep at Kidd but the ball looped off the bottom of his blade and up to point.

Maddy's scalp meant the most to Ireland. The captain had shrugged off the loss of Neil Carter and an early rush of blood when Ravi Rampaul brought a ball back to pin him in front of off stump. Maddy didn't look greatly enamoured with the speed of Neil Mallender's verdict, as he might have crept outside the line.

Carter had steered Phil Eaglestone for a huge six in the second over and tried to repeat the trick in the fourth, only to incur a fatal top-edge. But even the man in form, Jonathan Trott, was unable to get on top of a circumspect Irish attack.

Only Frost, chiefly responsible for the accumulation of 76 runs from the last 10 overs, achieved that modest feat. But in a tie where there was nothing at stake – neither team had, until Friday, won a single game - Ireland seemed that bit hungrier to get off the mark.