The Irish cricket team gained their second World Cup qualifier success with a narrow victory over Papa New Guinea in Zimbabwe.
New Guinea set the Irish a target of 235 and despite struggling for periods they eventually ran that total down to win by four wickets and thus making it two wins from two in the competition after a previous victory over the Netherlands.
All in all it was a disappointing outing for Graham Ford’s team who would have been expected to be a lot more comfortable than they were.
In captain William Porterfield they had a real saviour as he hit 108 and claimed his 11th one day international century.
Ed Joyce also maintained his standard with a half century but it became tight after that with both Niall and Kevin O’Brien run out relatively quickly.
Gary Wilson and George Dockrell did steady the ship though and get the score they needed in the final five balls to secure the win much to the relief of the Irish backroom team.
“It was a little a bit closer than we expected but there’s always that pressure on when playing against a lesser ranked side – there’s always pressure on to beat them comfortably,” said Ireland Assistant Head Coach Rob Cassell afterwards.
“Papa New Guinea have come a long way in the last 12 months, so we’re happy to get over the line.”
“Winning form is good form and we started well with the ball. It was a fantastic knock from Ura, who made 150 for Papa New Guinea. It was a bit of a lone hand and gave us some things to work on with the ball – otherwise it was a good performance.”
“West Indies are up next. Our boys are playing good cricket at the moment and confidence is high, so we’re looking at taking the Windies head on.”
Ireland take on the aforementioned group favourites West Indies on Saturday in a crunch game with the winner guaranteed qualification to the super six stage of the tournament.