Belfast Telegraph

Irish defeat down to lack of experience, says Simmons

By Ian Callender

Bangladesh are now the fourth best team in the world in Twenty20 cricket so the fact that Ireland took them to the last ball in the final two games of their three-match series in Belfast was the positive to take for coach Phil Simmons as he looks ahead to September’s finals in Sri Lanka.

A one-run defeat on Friday was followed by a two wickets loss on Saturday, as the bowlers tried, to defend an inadequate 140, but the Bangladesh batsmen did what Ireland could not the previous day — see the job through in a nerve-racking last over.

Simmons put it down to their Full Member’s experience and although Ireland have actually played more T20 internationals than the Tigers, remarkably, these were their first against a Test nation since the last World Twenty20 in the Caribbean in May 2010.

“They were also our first home T20s for four years, but ICC are encouraging us to play more,” said Simmons.

“The World Twenty20s come thick and fast, there’s another tournament in 2014. Yesterday showed us we need more matches, experience beat us. We’d a couple of dropped catches late on, but we played well.”

Ireland have only four more T20 games before they head to the finals — the culmination of the four-week South Africa A visit next month — but the majority of the county players will not be available for those games. This was the last time the full squad will be together but Simmons acknowledged the bulk of the squad can already book their seats on the plane.

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