Ireland skipper William Porterfield is not about to hit the panic button yet in his team’s quarter-final quest at the World Cup, despite their
Ireland’s first defeat of the tournament came in spectacular fashion at the Manuka Oval, as they conceded 411 for four after losing the toss and then folded for just 210 in the face of Protea pace and spin.
Andy Balbirnie was Ireland’s only bright spark with the bat, scoring 58 off 71 balls, after they had been reduced to 48 for five in the 11th over of their chase.
Defeat meant the confidence from their wins against West Indies and United Arab Emirates was hit hard, but Porterfield is already looking forward to making amends against Zimbabwe at Hobart later this week.
When asked after the game about the importance of that next Pool B fixture, Porterfield told a press conference: “I don’t think it’s make or break.
“I think every game, for ourselves, we’ve gone into it looking for those two points. We did it against the West Indies, UAE and here again today, and against Zimbabwe it’s not going to be any different.
“Obviously we pick up two points, then we’re on six, and then we move into the India game, but we’re going to prepare for Hobart as we have every other game and look at them and everything we need to do, and improve on this game and keep doing the good things we’re doing well.”
Ireland can at least hope for a better bowling and fielding performance against Zimbabwe, especially having dropped Tuesday’s centurion Hashim Amla when he was on just 10.
Amla went on to plunder a career-best 159 thanks to that lifeline from Ed Joyce, with Faf du Plessis also getting to three figures after an early touch of fortune at slip.
“Obviously it was a big chance there and it was the sixth or seventh over we had a chance to take Hashim there when he was on 10, so he obviously made us pay,” Porterfield said.
“He’s a fantastic player; (you’re) not going to get too many chances off him, especially in such a good wicket. We had to get on with it. But yeah, they played well.”
While Amla may have stolen most of the plaudits from the match, the batsman was quick to offer his support to fellow opener Quinton de Kock, who was out for just one – his fourth single-figure score in his last five one-day international innings.
“Quinny is an unbelievably talented and hard-working player. Not many people see the amount of effort he puts in the nets,” Amla said.
“Everything has a benefit to it, and the fact that he’s not getting runs and he’s still managing to get some good totals on the board, I think it’s a nice situation to be in, and I’m sure and I know all have subtle beliefs that he’ll come good.”