Ireland captain Trent Johnston said his team fell 20 to 30 runs short of their target in their Super Eight defeat to South Africa.
Ireland made 152 for eight in a rain-interrupted game which was reduced to 35 overs a side. South Africa were asked to score 160 runs to win on the Duckworth-Lewis system which they made for the loss of three wickets and 21 balls to spare.
Johnston said Ireland were unfortunate to lose the toss, since the conditions made it difficult for batting.
“Unfortunately we wanted to bowl first but this did not happen,” he said, also pointing to the missed chances off Jacques Kallis, who made an unbeaten 66, as being key.
“Had we taken those two catches, things might have been different.”
Kallis was given a life at 40 when he was dropped by Boyd Rankin off his own bowling and five runs later he was put down by Johnston off the spin of Kyle McCallan
The Ireland captain said that despite the loss, his players were happy to note that they matched up well to the number one-ranked team in the world.
“This is suppose to be the best team in the world and we were very close to them,” he said.
South Africa skipper Graeme Smith also paid tribute to Ireland, describing them as a young team with a great future.
“I think that they played very well and will continue to improve,” he said, describing the day as a difficult one.
“The weather was tough but happily we managed ourselves well and chased down their total comfortably.”
Smith said he was particularly happy to see Kallis and Shaun Pollock (two for 17 off seven overs) doing well since the pair had been criticised recently.
“Shaun bounced back with a good spell while we always know what Jacques is capable of doing,” he added.
Man of the match Kallis said his objective was to stabilise the innings.
“In those situations you needed to be a lot more circumspect before playing big shots,” he explained.