Ireland chased their way to a four-wicket victory over West Indies in Durban, with 25 balls to spare. Ed Sawyer reports.
Lendl Simmons (102) and Darren Sammy (89) put on 154 for the 5th(check) wicket, leaving Windies to post 304-7.
Paul Sterling (92) and Ed Joyce (84) shared a hundred partnership for Ireland before O’Brien’s 79 pushed the Irish over the line in the 46th over.
England must now aim to mirror Ireland’s effort and discipline in the field.
Ireland’s superb fielding in the first 30 overs limited the run-rate to under five an over.
Tight fields and line bowling restricted the West Indies to playing singles – building pressure and forcing the batsmen to play over the top.
Ireland are also very vocal in the field – a trait that England should try to emulate. The England team seems despondent in the field – the lack of unity means extras and overthrows are commonplace – something the coaching staff need to look at.
Irish wicketkeeper, Gary Wilson and captain, William Porterfield constantly readjust the fielding positions and give positive reinforcement to their players, relieving the pressure on the batsmen.
This bonds the fielding team and gives bowlers the confidence that they’ll be backed up by their team.
Having no fielders behind square is a great tactic for Ireland. Bowling the right lines and cramping the batsmen leads to dot balls and an extra burden on the batsman on strike to ensure the scoreboard ticks along.
When a team has high confidence with their fielding team and bowlers are firing, their batsmen can then score assertively and go after the opposition. Ireland’s approach and refined execution of play makes them a destructive force.
All together, Ireland’s attitude and communication when fielding is second to none and they could create more headlines this World Cup.