For Ireland to have a realistic chance of staying in the competition, Australia needed to beat the West Indies in Saturday’s Group ‘B’ clash and the Aussies did just that.
Having lost to the men from Down Under on Wednesday, Ireland were grudgingly cheering on for Australia on Saturday night. “Yeah, big time (cheering),” said Irish wicket-keeper Niall O’Brien on Sunday ahead of their match against the West Indies on Monday. “(Shane) Watson and (David) Warner weren’t the most popular in the Irish camp a few days ago but they played really well last night. It was a great result for us, it gave us a little bit of a pick-me-up if we needed it before tomorrow’s game but (the) winner takes it all and the West Indies are going to feel a little bit of pressure also,” he noted.
The illness to some of the Irish players, Niall felt, wasn’t an ideal preparation. “Not ideal whatsoever but it has happened before and from a personal point of view, I have been sick.
Sometimes you find an inner resolve and that’s something that (coach) Phil (Simons) will be trying to stress upon. The boys have been a bit sick but it’s Twenty20 and there is a lot of adrenaline and they will overcome any ill feeling and illness in the camp,” he hoped.
West Indies skipper Darren Sammy felt meeting a stronger team in Australia straight up didn’t perturb him. “No, not really... Whether you play Australia or Ireland first, these are the two matches in the first round. That’s the way these matches are scheduled and I would have preferred we could win (on Saturday) and even win on Monday. We win two or win one, we still qualify; that’s how the system works. We just have to win against Ireland and we believe we could beat them and we have to in order to qualify to the Super Eights.
That’s what we intend to do on Monday,” he explained.