Friday 19 January 2018

KEY FIGURES: How the Boys in Green performed at the World Cup

William Porterfield (6 games, 180 runs, 2 50s): Good innings v India and Holland, but tends to play loose shots early on. Captained well but errors probably cost wins v Bangladesh and West Indies.

Paul Stirling (6 games, 157 runs, 1 century, 4 wickets): Struggled for much of tournament as opening stand never made more than 23 until last game. Redeemed himself with blistering 100 in 70 balls. Bowling was a bonus.

Ed Joyce (6 games, 176 runs, 1 50): Appeared burdened by pressure to perform, but broke free for wonderful knock v West Indies. Not as mobile as used to be in field, but his experience was vital and played mentoring role for young team-mates.

Niall O'Brien (6 games, 205 runs, 2 50s): Made several good starts but loss of concentration cost him a couple of more 50s. At his best in controlled chase v Holland. Excellent behind the stumps.

Gary Wilson (4 games, 122 runs, 1 50): Started on bench but shone when he came in, making 61 v Windies only to be cruelly sawn off by umpire error. Busy in field but dropped a couple of catches.

Andre Botha (2 games, 22 runs, 4 wickets): Injury and illness meant he played just twice, which reduced options for his captain. Bowled well v Bangladesh but a sad and ill-timed tournament for an Ireland legend.

Kevin O'Brien (6 games, 198 runs, 1 century, 4 wickets): Started with 37 in Dhaka and 113 v England has made him a global star. Bad run thereafter but ended with bang. Bowling off the boil but did well v Windies.

Alex Cusack (5 games, 80 runs, 0 wickets): Struggled with ball on dead pitches but 47 in partnership with Kevin O'Brien set up remarkable victory over England.

John Mooney (6 games, 58 runs, 10 wickets): Skilful use of slower balls and cutters made him a key death bowler and leading wicket-taker. Innings of 33 nailed down win over England.

Trent Johnston (5 games, 42 runs, 8 wickets): Bowling as well as he had done in years until knee injury v India ruled him out for a crucial week. Came back bravely and finished his World Cup career with a win.

George Dockrell (6 games, 42 runs, 7 wickets): Astonishingly level-headed teenager now has strong international profile and scalps of Tendulkar, Dhoni and Strauss. Batting improving too. Dislocated shoulder may turn out to be a good thing, giving him a four-week breather before starting county career.

Boyd Rankin (6 games, 9 runs, 3 wickets): Hopelessly awry v Bangladesh and England, he recovered well for some fiery spells. Unlucky not to take more wickets but needs work on radar.

Andrew White (2 games, 15 runs, 0 wickets): Couldn't take opportunity to shine and dropped out of selection after India game. The 189-times capped all-rounder is likely to be the last of the true amateurs.

Albert van der Merwe & Nigel Jones (0 games): Unlike 2007, when the fringe players were given one game each, this hugely popular pair remained as water carriers. But neither moaned nor slackened in the service of the team.

-- Gerard Siggins

Sunday Indo Sport

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