Wilson backs Ireland to hit back

Wilson backs Ireland to hit back

Wicketkeeper-batsman Gary Wilson believes Ireland can bounce back and mark his 100th cap with a series-levelling win against Pakistan in Belfast today.

Ireland were thumped by seven wickets in Saturday’s opening game when they produced their worst batting display in just over four years to be skittled for 96.

Aside from Paul Stirling’s blazing 39 at the top of the order, the hosts capitulated due to a combination of a seaming wicket and some poor strokeplay.

Wilson is, however, adamant his team have learned their lesson ahead the final game of the short series today.

“There were some pretty choice words said after the game,” the 25-year-old told Press Association Sport.

“The pitch was a factor, but we cannot use that as an excuse. You can’t score 96 on any wicket and expect to have a chance of winning it.

“I think it was a combination of some good balls and some bad strokes.

“But we can’t get too down though. We have to pick ourselves up, we have no choice really.

“We’ve got a game on Monday and if we want to do well we have to get going again.

“We are a proud team that has taken a knock so we will look to bounce back for sure.”

Asked what Ireland would have to do to lift themselves, Wilson simply replied: “Play better cricket than Pakistan.

“In fact, we have to play a lot better than we did on Saturday.

“But as I said we won’t get too down. We saw how long it took for them to chase down the runs so it was a tough wicket.

“I thought we bowled really well in the conditions ourselves, so there was a positive to take from the game.”

Wilson’s milestone game is set to be made even more special as it will come on his home ground at Stormont, which is just a short walk from where he was born in neighbouring Dundonald.

“When I was growing up I always dreamed of playing cricket for Ireland so it is going to be a big honour,” he added.

“It will obviously be even more special because it is in on my home ground.

“My parents and my girlfriend are going to be there and to play it against a team as good as Pakistan will add to the occasion.

“I just hope we can mark it with a victory.”

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