Ireland ready with date for destiny at Cricket World Cup
HAMILTON, New Zealand (AP) — Ireland will have its rendevous with Cricket World Cup destiny in Adelaide on Sunday when it meets Pakistan in the final match of the tournament’s group stages.
An eight-wicket loss to India on Tuesday left Ireland with three wins from five matches in Pool B and meant its hopes of reaching the quarterfinals now hang entirely on the outcome of the match at Adelaide Oval.
If Ireland wins, the team will make history by progressing to the tournament’s knockout rounds. If it rains and the Irish share the points with Pakistan, they still have a chance of progressing. If it loses, it will be remembered for another giant-killing effort at this tournament but, ultimately, that effort will have been in vain.
Captain William Porterfield said Ireland would now steel itself for a do or die game, confident in its ability to cope with the pressure of its own ambition.
Speaking after Tuesday’s defeat, Porterfield said Ireland had demonstrated its competitiveness at this World Cup and deserved to be taken seriously, rather than be seen as a plucky underdog.
He said it would go into Sunday’s match against Pakistan confident of it ability to cope with any challenge the match presented.
“I think we’ve won starting, we’ve won chasing and we’ve chased down over 300 and we’ve set 330-plus when we’ve batted first as well,” Porterfield said. “And I think (on Tuesday against India), being out there again, we would have gotten that 330-plus from the platform that we had.
“I’m confident whether we bat or chase. We’ll take a look at things now moving on to Adelaide ... and we’ll have everything behind the scenes ready.”
Porterfield said the greatest impediment to Ireland’s attempts to build on its strong performances at World Cups, and eventually to stake a claim for test status, was its lack of matches against top teams.
“I think exposure is a big thing,” he said. “You probably heard me say it a thousand times, we’ve played nine ODIs against top eight teams in the last four years in between World Cups, which is not a lot when you consider a lot of countries are playing 25, 30 plus a year.
“So that’s disappointing from our point of view to not get that experience and get those games under our belts. But I think the skill factor is there.”