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Ireland's cricketers face a winner-takes-all clash with West Indies this afternoon

Updated: Monday, 24 Sep 2012 13:04 | Comments

William Porterfield: "If we can get early wickets and put runs on the board then pressure can be a funny thing."
William Porterfield: "If we can get early wickets and put runs on the board then pressure can be a funny thing."

Ireland's cricketers face a winner-takes-all clash with West Indies this afternoon in their final group game of the ICC World Twenty20.

For once the elements worked in Ireland's favour on Saturday night as the West Indies lost by 17 runs (D/L) to Australia, despite having scored 191 for 8.

The West Indies have a superior net run rate to Ireland. Just 0.237 separates the two teams, but it does mean that if the weather intervenes forcing a no-result it will be West Indies who progress to the Super Eight phase rather than Ireland.

Ireland's preparations for the game have been hampered by a viral bug which meant that six of the squad were unable to train yesterday.

Thankfully all the players have recovered and Ireland will have a full squad to select from for the eliminator at the Premadasa stadium.

Ireland captain William Porterfield said: "Obviously our preparations have been disrupted but we've worked very hard in the three weeks we've been in Sri Lanka so it's not too disconcerting.

"If we can get early wickets and put runs on the board then pressure can be a funny thing" - William Porterfield

"Everyone is just desperate to get out onto the park and rectify our poor showing last week against Australia. We've a chance to show people just what we're capable of and you can be certain that nobody will leave anything out there on the field.

"West Indies will be massive favourites with world class players in Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard - two of the most destructive players in cricket, but the start will once again be critical.

"If we can get early wickets and put runs on the board then pressure can be a funny thing."

Porterfield confirmed that he will continue to open the batting after it had been suggested that perhaps Niall O'Brien would be promoted up the order. "I'm going to lead from the front. Things didn't go my way last week, but I've enough confidence in my ability to keep playing my shots and being positive.

"I've built a good understanding with Paul (Stirling) over the past few years, and am happy for that to continue."

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