Ireland cricket captain demands improvement

Ireland captain Trent Johnston admitted his inexperienced side would have to learn their lessons quickly if they were to make any further impact at the current World Cup, following yesterday's defeat by in-form New Zealand.

Ireland captain Trent Johnston admitted his inexperienced side would have to learn their lessons quickly if they were to make any further impact at the current World Cup, following yesterday's defeat by in-form New Zealand.

The Irish looked competitive at times against the Kiwis, who now top the Super Eight table above Australia on run-rate, but their batting eventually collapsed to condemn them to a 129-run defeat at Providence Stadium in Guyana.

And Johnston claimed his players must begin to show that they are worthy of their temporary place among the planet's elite one-day sides.

"We have to keep improving and while we did well with the ball in the early stages, our batting was not quite what we are capable of," he admitted.

Johnston insisted Ireland would continue to strive to close the gap between themselves and the other teams and in particular praised the efforts of brothers Kevin and Niall O' Brien, who added 75 for the fourth wicket.

"When you consider the kind of bowling they were up against, they really did well.

"While they were at the wicket, anything was possible. We were hoping that they could take us well into the 50 overs and see what happened from there."

Johnston said his players would continue to take heart from Bangladesh's shock victory over South Africa.

"They were not playing particularly well in the Super Eight but took their opportunity when they got it. If they had so many bad games and rebounded the way they did, then there is every possibility that we can find the right opportunity and if conditions go our way, we will capitalise on them."

Ireland next face Australia in Barbados on Friday.

New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming paid tribute to his team after today's crushing win and warned that their next three matches in the Super Eight series would be much more intense than anything they have faced so far.

New Zealand made 263-8 from their 50 overs and Ireland were bowled out for 134 with 12.2 overs left.

The Kiwis have maintained a 100% record in the tournament following group-stage wins against England, Kenya and Canada, and Super Eight wins against hosts West Indies, Bangladesh and now the Irish.

They will next face Sri Lanka in Grenada on Thursday to be followed by matches against South Africa and Australia.

Fleming admitted that despite his team's overwhelming success, Ireland proved to be competitive.

He said: "New Zealand were looking for a score between 300 and 350 runs.

"But they certainly bowled well and restricted us. We were never able to get a good early partnership and in the end it was good to see that we got eventually where we did.

"But their spinners certainly contained us."

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