Wednesday 21 March 2018

Porterfield: We're still a long way from qualifying

William Porterfield
William Porterfield

David Townsend

Barely had the celebrations begun before Phil Simmons was playing down the value of Ireland's opening World Cup victory over the West Indies - if not its significance - insisting "it's only one game" and his squad picked up the mantra yesterday.

Ireland have not come to take part, they have come to reach at least the quarter-finals and the squad are aware that a slip-up against the United Arab Emirates next week in Brisbane would undo all the great work of Monday's four-wicket win.

There are seven teams in each World Cup group, so three wins may be enough for a place in the last eight, but Ireland are targeting every game as a potential two points, even those against South Africa and India.

"Beating the West Indies was a big step but everyone in the squad knows we are still a very long way from qualifying for the quarter-finals," said captain William Porterfield.

"We're going to prepare to go into the UAE game to win. It's where we're at. We're looking to win every game, and as long as we're doing the right things and building up to that, then we're happy."

An ambitious team, as Ireland undoubtedly are, would be looking to finish second or higher in the table and thereby avoid a likely clash with one of the co-hosts in the quarter-finals. New Zealand won their second game by three wickets yesterday (TUES) after bowling out Scotland for 142.

For the next couple of days, though, with no match until Wednesday, the squad will be able to enjoy a bit of R & R having arriving on the Gold Coast - one of Australia's premier tourist spots - after a day of travelling from Nelson, via Auckland and Brisbane.

Meanwhile, former fast bowling great Michael Holding, who saw his beloved West Indies lose on his 61st birthday, has join the clamour for Ireland to be granted Test-match status immediately by the ICC, rather than having to wait at least four years.

"If Ireland continue to linger around the lower regions of world cricket they will continue to lose good players to England," Holding said.

"They need to be recognised now. (Eoin) Morgan left to play for England because he saw brighter prospects."

Irish Independent

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