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Loss won't derail Ireland's World mission: Wilson

 

High belief: Gary Wilson
High belief: Gary Wilson

By Ian Callender

Captain Gary Wilson insists he has the right squad at his disposal to get Ireland to the T20 World Cup finals next month, despite Wednesday's six-wicket defeat to Netherlands.

Today, they complete the Tri-Series in Malahide against Scotland (1.30pm) in what is a winner-takes-all battle after the Scots made it back-to-back wins yesterday against the Dutch with a six-wicket victory in the penultimate game.

"We are improving as a T20 side, we are not going to get it right every game, that's why we have four games this week, four in Oman and two in UAE before the Qualifiers. I am comfortable with this group and we have the right group here," said Wilson.

The biggest questions he had to answer after Wednesday's loss was Ireland's failure to build on their superb run-rate after Andrew Balbirnie's dismissal at the end of the 12th over, and his decision to bowl Stuart Thompson in the penultimate over despite having gone for 34 runs in his first three overs.

His final over cost 14 and Netherlands were left with just five runs to win from the last over.

"Against Scotland on Tuesday, I thought Thommo was our best yorker bowler. Yes, he went for 40, but we watch him in training and he has been the best skilled at getting the wide yorkers and heel yorkers and I wanted to give him that responsibility," Wilson added.

"It didn't come off for him yesterday, but his white-ball bowling has been going really well. If we were in the same situation again, I would probably throw the ball to him again."

As for the batting, he gave plenty of credit to the Dutch bowlers for their attacking display.

"It was not as good a pitch as yesterday, it was slower and began to spin a bit. The 190 was about par, so we were 10 short, but if we had bowled as well as on Tuesday we would have won the game. But we didn't play as well," he said.

"We don't become a good or bad side overnight, we played such good T20 cricket on Tuesday, we haven't gone quite as well yesterday but there are still a lot of positives."

David Delany conceded only two boundaries in his four overs, and his fellow debutant this week, Harry Tector, scored an exciting 60 from 40 balls.

"I know the scorecards were not made available from last week's inter-squad games but the guys here are the ones that performed in those games," said Wilson.

"Harry made a couple of 70s batting at No.3 off not many balls to make sure he was on the plane. He is a very, very good player with a great head on his shoulders, so rest assured we have the right 15."

That would suggest that Simi Singh, called in as replacement for the injured Jacob Mulder - ruled out by a back problem - will keep his place for the Qualifiers, but Wilson admitted he was unlikely to get a run-out today.

"We'll pick the side which is best going to win the game while trying to get guys cricket," he insisted.

"We will be on the same pitch and Scotland play spin quite well, so it might be a bit difficult to get Simi in.

"But there's still plenty of time before the tournament and Stirlo's (Paul Stirling) niggle might be a blessing in disguise in terms of the other guys getting cricket.

"He's obviously in the first XI, but I'm still extremely comfortable that whichever four guys are on the bench can come in and do a job."

• Despite failing to qualify for the T20 World Cup, interim coach Ed Joyce has been appointed Ireland Women's head coach, in succession to Arron Hamilton, on a two-year contract.

YESTERDAY'S SCORES - Malahide: Netherlands 123 (20 overs, B de Leede 30; H Tahir 4-30) Scotland 126-4 (13.2 overs). Scotland won by six wickets.

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