Sunday 16 December 2018

Cricket: Cusack revels in Ireland's shock win

Alex Cusack claimed Ireland were "on top of the world" after they pulled off a stunning three-wicket win over England in Bangalore today.

Cusack made 47 and Kevin O'Brien a magnificent 113, including the fastest World Cup century, as the underdogs reached 329 for seven with five balls to spare.

"I'm pretty amazed, words can't described how I'm feeling, just on top of the world," Cusack said on Sky Sports 1.

Cusack paid tribute to the big-hitting O'Brien, who clobbered 13 fours and six sixes.

"I was just trying to knock it around for Kev because he's got the power. He's got the big shots."

Man of the match O'Brien, who helped Ireland recover from 111 for five as they chased down England's total of 327, admitted he could not believe his feat.

"I'm pretty speechless at the moment," he added on Sky Sports 1.

"To be honest it's the best innings I've ever played since I started playing cricket.

"I just kept going and kept believing and it went our way.

"When we were 111 for five we could have just pottered around, but I chanced my arm and we didn't look back really. We attacked and it came off."

There were contrasting emotions for England captain Andrew Strauss, who admitted his side's fielding had to improve.

"We thought we had done a reasonable job with the bat, we got Ireland five down and things looked comfortable," he said.

"We weren't reckoning on an outstanding innings from Kevin O'Brien. It was pretty brutal."

England have won just one of their opening three World Cup games, but Strauss insisted their tournament hopes were not dead.

Strauss added: "Our World Cup dream is not over, but we've been haemorrhaging runs too quickly. We've got to go away, lick our wounds.

"I'm at a loss to explain it, we put down another three or four catches today."

Strauss also revealed Kevin Pietersen and Graeme Swann both picked up niggles, but said they should be fit for England's next game against South Africa on Sunday."

Ireland captain William Porterfield, who was dismissed first ball in his side's reply by James Anderson, hailed the victory as their greatest ever win.

"It's got to be the greatest, pretty much the greatest days of our lives so far," he said.

"Credit to the lads, they kept believing. We'll be looking to put in a performance like that every game."

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