Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Victory was the only missing ingredient, says William Porterfield

Ireland's William Porterfield

For a squad that had just booked their place in the World Cup finals, it was a subdued atmosphere at the VRA Club in Amstelveen last night.

Maybe it was the expectation of winning, or even the formality of qualifying – after all they are an uncatchable five points ahead with two games remaining – but Ireland captain William Porterfield tried to explain the atmosphere in the camp.

"When we came off the field it felt like a loss. At the start of the last over it looked like we had in the bag, but it won't take us long to get over the disappointment (of not winning) because we have qualified for the World Cup. We would like to have got there with a win but we are pretty happy," he said.

"Coming into the last 15 overs, Holland were in control but we bowled well in the closing stages.

"We would have taken 268 any day but we had a couple of missed chances in the field and we bowled 16 wides which is unusual for us. But Mooney was superb for the first four balls of that last over and only a couple of serious shots to the biggest part of the ground got them the tie, so fair play to them.

"We are delighted to qualify. We knew we needed three points coming to Holland so it's mission accomplished. We came here to do a job and we've done it."

For Phil Simmons, it wasn't about qualifying for his second World Cup finals as Ireland coach, it was about winning the competition.

"We didn't talk about qualifying, we spoke about topping the group and we knew we needed one point to get there," he said.

But the West Indian admitted that they never hit their peak, with either bat bat or ball.

"We were at least 20 short of what we should have got. From 169 for two at the start of the powerplay (36th over) with eight wickets left, we should have got to 300 but we didn't bat well between overs 40 and 45, so we need to work on that.

"The bowling wasn't as disciplined as we usually are. We had too many four-balls but we pulled it back because we got wickets. It was a freak shot which gave them a tie. He had no right to reach that and play that shot."

Simmons confirmed that just because they have completed the job of qualifying, Ireland will not be taking their foot off the pedal.

"We will be going out to win the last two qualifying games. We owe it to the Netherlands and Afghanistan (chasing the second qualifying spot) to put our best team forward and play as hard as possible against Scotland and if they beat us with our best team with good cricket they will deserve it (second place).

"We have our feet on the plane and look forward to playing in either Australia or New Zealand. But we have work to do and now we have that extra time to do it."