Ireland’s four-wicket victory over West Indies in their opening 2015 World Cup clash on Monday was not an ‘upset’, according to their captain. William Porterfield’s side never actually looked in trouble at Saxton Oval in Nelson, even if they did allow Lendl Simmons and Darren Sammy to put on 154 runs for the sixth wicket and leaked 124 in the final 10 overs.
Simmons’ 102 and Sammy’s 89 gave West Indies a total of 304 for seven, though Porterfield felt the score was about par on the small ground and his side ‘should be able to chase it down’. They did. Comfortably, scoring 307 for six in 45.5 overs and never really looked like they would not get the target after Porterfield and Paul Stirling put on 71 for the opening wicket.
“Personally I hate the term upsets from minnows or associates,” Porterfield told reporters in Nelson. “I don’t see it as an upset.
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“We came into the game prepared to win, we’re prepared to go into the UAE game prepared to win and then South Africa and so on. We’re looking to pick up two points in every game, and as long as we’re doing the right things and building up to that, then we’re happy,” added Porterfield.
The victory was Ireland’s fifth in the World Cup since their debut in 2007, with their first victory over a test nation against Pakistan in Jamaica, which they followed up with a win over Bangladesh in Bridgetown. In 2011 they sealed possibly their biggest victory, beating England by three wickets in Bangalore with Kevin O’Brien scoring a 50-ball century, the fastest at a World Cup.
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Porterfield, however, had said before Monday’s game that a victory ‘would not be a surprise’ for his team, something he repeated afterwards. “We always felt under control and never at any stage did we feel like we were under any pressure, which was great,” he said.
“We knew there was a lot more in the tank from what we had been doing. The way we prepared in the nets and how we’ve gone about things, not just on the cricket pitch but mentally as well, and how we’ve prepared has been great, so it’s nice to get the rewards on day one,” signed off Porterfield.