Ireland still aiming for quarterfinal berth

Bangalore: Despite their five-wicket defeat against India, Ireland captain William Porterfield is still hopeful about his team`s chances of making it to the knock-out stage of the World Cup.

Ireland have won just one of their three matches in Group B against England and still have to face the West Indies, South Africa and another associate nation, the Netherlands in their remaining league fixtures.

"We have got three games left and there is no reason we can`t beat any of the three teams we are playing. We are a fighting side," said Porterfield.

Porterfield led from the front to give title favourites India a scare in Bangalore before the co-hosts won by five wickets at M Chinnaswamy stadium Sunday night. The Irish skipper top-scored in the game with a solid 75.

"We got ourselves in a great position after losing two early wickets and we looked okay till the run-out of Niall O`Brien. An extra 40 runs on that pitch would have been interesting because there was spin in it," said Porterfield.

The Irish skipper said the wicket of Niall O` Brien was the turning point in their innings, adding that things went wrong after the second drinks break.

"After that drinks break we lost few wickets, and that set us back. I think 250-260 would have been a very competitive total. We lost two wickets in the first three overs and it wasn`t easy to get going. Got a decent partnership after that, but then lost three quick wickets."

Porterfield added that his team`s never-say-die attitude will always make them a fighting opponent.

"I am happy with the way my team fought and the way the boys fielded and bowled," he said.

First player in World Cup to take five wickets and hit a half-century, Yuvraj Singh was adjudged man-of-the-match and he said the Irish team could surprise any Test playing nation in the tournament.

"At the last World Cup in the Caribbean, they beat Pakistan and in this tournament they successfully chased 327 against England. They have been doing really well," said Yuvraj.

"They can put big teams under pressure. They should be playing a lot of international cricket," he added.


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