Ireland cricketer Gary Wilson insists a place in the ICC World Twenty20 Super Eight is still within his country’s grasp as they look forward to a Tuesday showdown with England in Guyana.
The Irish got their Group D campaign off to a bad start on Friday night when they were bowled out for just 68 runs by tournament hosts West Indies and lost by 70 runs under the lights at Guyana National Stadium.
Yet qualification for the next phase of the tournament is still a possibility and Wilson, who was the leading Irish batsman on a miserable night at the crease with 17 runs, is already focused on the challenges to come.
“We have to put last night behind us,” Wilson said. “It was a very disappointing result and the way we went about it was very disappointing and we all we can do is move on now and beat England.
“We’ve got good players and we know we can beat England on our day.
“We would love to beat England but at the end of the day it’s a chance to get into the Super Eight of the World Cup so it doesn’t matter who it is.
“It’s definitely not beyond us. Obviously we’d be looking to the West Indies to do us a favour on Monday and beat England and then it becomes a semi-final in a sense on Tuesday.
“All we can do is go out there, do our best and hopefully get the win that will take us into the Super Eight.
“By no stretch of the imagination is our tournament over.”
Dundonald-born Wilson, 24, is the first to point out that improvements have to be made if they are to defeat England in Georgetown, not least in the batting department.
“We’ve got to get back up and play well,” he said.
“I don’t know if there’s a particular reason for it because different players have scored at different times. It’s just a case that we haven’t all got runs at the same time.
“Paul Stirling and Niall O’Brien both scored big runs in Trinidad and Jamaica, I’ve chipped in here and there, William Porterfield as well. We’ve all got runs, I just don’t know why we haven’t done it on the same day.”
While poor batting certainly led Ireland to defeat against the West Indies, Wilson pointed to a late batting flourish from West Indies man of the match Darren Sammy, whose 30 from 17 balls piled pressure on the tournament qualifiers.
“I think the game started to turn when Sammy came into bat,” he said.
“I think we gave away 40 runs in the last four overs and that might have swung the pendulum in their favour and I don’t know if we really recovered from that.
“But certainly when we batted, we lost three wickets in the first eight balls, four in the first 12 balls and there was just no way back once that had happened.”
Ireland captain William Porterfield, who had called the defeat to the West Indies “a massive missed opportunity”, insisted his team would rally in time to face England in their final Group D game on Tuesday.
“We’ll sit down over the next couple of days and work things out,” Porterfield said.
“We’re obviously disappointed with the result but at the end of the day on Tuesday we’ve got a massive game and we’re still in the tournament, regardless of the result on Monday.
“And if the West Indies pull it off there then it’s a straight shoot-out between ourselves and England to get to the Super Eight.
“So there’s still a massive amount to play for even though we didn’t get the result last night.”