Sport

Monday 18 December 2017

Wilson in optimistic mood

Gary Wilson believes Ireland can topple the West Indies if they play to the best of their ability
Gary Wilson believes Ireland can topple the West Indies if they play to the best of their ability

Ireland wicketkeeper Gary Wilson feels the West Indies' World Cup warm-up matches may well have served as a wake-up call for the Caribbean side - but has every belief he and his team-mates are capable of beating them.

The two sides meet on Sunday in Nelson in their Pool B opener, a contest the Windies go into after a final build-up week that has seen them thrashed by nine wickets by England on Monday and then only just get past Scotland on Thursday, winning by three runs.

While those struggles might appear a boost for Ireland, Wilson does not think it should necessarily be viewed that way.

The 29-year-old does, though, sense confidence building in the Irish camp.

Asked about the Windies' preparations, Wilson said: "I think there are two ways to look at it, and it might be a wake-up call for them.

"There is a lot of chat about how West Indies cricket is in a bit of turmoil at the moment.

"But what is for sure is that when any player pulls on a jersey and plays for his country, he is going to want to be doing the best he can, and whatever 11 the West Indies put on the pitch, it is going to be a pretty talented 11.

"Having said that, we are going to be a talented 11 as well and we know if we do play well, we have a really good chance."

Ireland slumped to a 179-run warm-up loss to Scotland on Tuesday, but then completed their preparations with a four-wicket win over Bangladesh on Thursday.

And Wilson said: "I think we have prepared as well as we possibly could.

"Obviously the result against Scotland didn't go our way, and we didn't play anywhere near how we could have or would have wanted to that day.

"But we bounced back pretty well against Bangladesh and the way we are going, we are hopefully peaking at the right time.

"I wouldn't say we played particularly well against Bangladesh, but we still managed to get a pretty convincing win, so hopefully we will continue that upward curve."

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