HomeSportZimbabwe game 'now big' for Ireland

Zimbabwe game ‘now big’ for Ireland

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CANBERRA — Captain William Porterfield says Ireland will now focus on Saturday’s game against Zimbabwe after yesterday’s cricket World Cup hammering by South Africa.

Hashim Amla’s 159, after being dropped on 10 by Ed Joyce, and Faf du Plessis’s 109 helped South Africa to 411-4 with the Irish all-out for 210 in Canberra.

However, a win in Hobart on Saturday will keep Ireland’s hopes of a quarter-final spot very much alive.

“The game against Zimbabwe now is very big for us,” said Porterfield. “We’ll be looking to go down there (to Hobart) and pick up two points.”
Porterfield acknowledged that the Irish had endured a “difficult evening” against a sharp Proteas side.

“They played very well. We had one early breakthrough and wanted more but then it was hard for us,” said the Ireland skipper after his team were unable to build on John Mooney’s early dismissal of Quinton de Kock Ireland’s prospects weren’t helped when Amla was dropped on 10 as Ed Joyce failed to hold a sharp chance with the opener going on to hit another 149 runs.

“You want to be taking your chances but that’s part of cricket,” added the Ireland skipper.

“All credit to him (Amla). He played very well. It was a very good pitch and it was very difficult to muster up those wickets.”

Du Plessus, Amla and AB De Villiers departed to leave South Africa on 301-3 but Ireland’s death bowling was once again punished as Rilee Rossouw (61) and David Miller (46) produced a 110-run partnership.

Any slim Irish hopes of getting near the huge South African total ended as Paul Stirling, Porterfield, Joyce, Niall O’Brien and Gary Wilson were cheaply dismissed to leave them on 48-5 in the 11th over.

Andrew Balbirnie’s 58 and Kevin O’Brien’s 48 helped the Irish edge towards respectability and some late aggressive hitting by George Dockrell and Max Sorensen moved them beyond 200 before they were all-out in the 46th over.

“All credit to the lower order for the way that they stuck at it,” continued Porterfield.

“And with the partnership (of 81) between Kevin O’Brien and Andrew Balbirnie, there were still a few good things in there.”

Ireland remain well placed to qualify, although the margin of defeat at the Manuka Oval will have a negative impact on their net run rate before Saturday’s Zimbabwe contest.
—BBC

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