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Cricket World Cup: William Porterfield positive despite defeat by India

By Ian Callender

Even in defeat, captain William Porterfield was upbeat about Ireland's performance against world champions India and excited by their prospects of a quarter-final place at the World Cup.

It remains a straightforward equation for Ireland, unchanged after their eight wickets loss in front of more than 10,000 in Hamilton yesterday. Avoid defeat to Pakistan in their final group game in Adelaide on Sunday and they go through - and they will not even have to do that if the West Indies do not beat UAE, which starts five and a half hours earlier.

"It's very exciting, it's where we want to be. We want that quarter-final place and it's a case of going away now and getting mentally prepared," said Porterfield.

"We have done a lot of work in the last six-eight weeks, and when we arrive in Adelaide it's all about being mentally prepared and going out and showing our skills.

"We lost wickets at key times, just as we were picking up momentum, but I liked the way the lads went out with intent."

On a superb batting track, it really was men against boys when the world champions went out to bat with Ireland's 130mph bowling little more than net practice for Rohit Sharma and his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan.

Yes, Dhawan gave two difficult chances in the first seven overs, a return catch into the mid-riff of John Mooney and then an even harder one to Porterfield but, put bluntly, no-one else in the team would have even touched it!

After that, it was a batting masterclass as they added 174 in 23 overs with Sharma's 64 dwarfed by Dhawan's majestic century.

The stand was ended by Stuart Thompson when, with his second ball, Rohit played on. It got better when, the ball after Dhawan reached his century, Thompson found the leading edge and Porterfield took an outstanding catch.

With Virat Kholi and Ajinkya Rahane the new batsmen it allowed two more class players to shine, Kholi winning the match with 13.1 overs to spare.

The Ireland batting had looked promising for the first 15 overs with Porterfield and Paul Stirling adding 89 for the first wicket. Although Ed Joyce was out cheaply, Niall O'Brien hit a 75.

The Indian spinners checked the fast scoring and from 206 for three in the 39th over, Ireland lost their seven wickets for 53 with one over unused - but their World Cup journey has another five days to run. At least.

Belfast Telegraph

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