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Porterfield regrets missed opportunity

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Ireland's William Porterfield echoed fans on social media by complaining that his side hadn’t stretched the world champions India enough

Ireland's William Porterfield echoed fans on social media by complaining that his side hadn’t stretched the world champions India enough

AFP/Getty Images

Ireland's William Porterfield echoed fans on social media by complaining that his side hadn’t stretched the world champions India enough

THE surprising thing was the disappointment - Ireland had scored more runs against India than any other side in the World Cup yet captain William Porterfield echoed fans on social media by complaining that his side hadn't stretched the world champions enough.

There was no shame in being bowled out for 259 but it could, and perhaps should have been more on a good pitch in Hamilton, and if either of two tough chances had been held early in the reply, India might not have eased home with as many as eight wickets and 13.1 overs to spare.

As it is, the Boys in Green will cross the Tasman once more today (en route for Adelaide and a showdown with Pakistan on Sunday that will almost certainly decide which of the two sides finishes Pool B in third place, and which goes home.

No-one - including the team, if they are honest - had expected to beat India but it was a bonus chance to gain the point needed to qualify for the quarter-finals and Ireland went about the task with a confidence and purpose that again belied their status as underdogs.

"We set up platforms with three good partnerships and you want to kick on from there," Porterfield said. "We could perhaps have set them 320 or 330 which would have been a competitive total and we weren't far away from making it hard for them."

He had a point. After a solid start from Paul Stirling and Porterfield himself who made 67, a positive Niall O'Brien accelerated through the gears and at 206-3 in the 39th over it looked as though Ireland would have a worthwhile total to defend.

But the dismissal of Andy Balbirnie for 24 triggered a collapse and when O'Brien fell for 75 from as many balls, with seven fours and three sixes, there was neither the batting nor the time left to get anywhere near 300, never mind beyond.

"We did very well in patches," O'Brien said. "The batting was really good for 35 overs but then we fell away towards the end when we lost wickets in clusters which is something we've talked about not doing - so that was disappointing.

"It was difficult for me against the spinners to begin with, but I knew I had time and I could catch up towards the end.

"It was disappointing to get out because there was a hundred there for the taking but I was trying to get some big runs for the team and get us past 300."

The winner-takes-all match in Adelaide will have a special resonance for O'Brien who scored 72 and was man of the match when Ireland famously beat Pakistan on St Patrick's Day at the World Cup in 2007.

"We can't wait for it, we want to play the game already," he said. "Obviously we've beaten them before and we know we can do it again. Confidence is really high in the camp despite this India result and we're all really looking forward to Sunday."

Irish Independent