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'Remind me, was it two teams outside the top eight involved in an entertaining game?'

Gary Wilson took aim at the ICC after helping Ireland beat UAE.

Wilson rediscovered his form just at the right time to help Ireland beat UAE.
Wilson rediscovered his form just at the right time to help Ireland beat UAE.
Image: PHOTOSPORT/Tertius Pickard/INPHO

GARY WILSON CHOSE the most opportune moment to rediscover his form and play one of his finest innings in a green jersey as his defiant, yet elegant, half-century dug Ireland out of a hole and now he has targeted at least two more wins in Pool B.

After enjoying a prolific season with Surrey last summer, Wilson had been unable to carry his run-scoring form onto the international stage as he endured a barren stretch in the months leading up to the World Cup.

However, the wicket-keeper played a typically industrious innings on Wednesday as he steadied the Irish ship before accelerating through the gears to propel Ireland to the cusp of victory.

Despite it being his first international fifty in a little over a year, Wilson insisted he went into the game in a positive mindset and full of confidence.

“I was confident going out there,” Wilson said. “It was obviously closer than we wanted it to be, definitely … (but) we’re two from two, that’s all we could ask.

“I was obviously searching for a few runs coming into this game, but I generally was confident going out there. I thought today was going to be the day it turned.”

Wilson wasn’t able to finish the job, falling for 80, a knock which included nine boundaries, but he laid the platform for George Dockrell and Alex Cusack to scramble Ireland home with four balls to spare.

Ireland now head to Canberra with four points from four in their hand luggage but Wilson believes the team won’t rest on their laurels and will target every game as they look for the four Pool B wins that will assure them of a quarter-final berth, regardless of other results.

“We want four wins, all we can do is take each game as it comes,” he said after the game.

“It was closer than we wanted it to be but I said earlier that we’ve been in this position before at a World Cup, big tournament, big stage, and chased down totals before, and I think that really stood us in good stead.

Gary Wilson Source: PHOTOSPORT/Tertius Pickard/INPHO

“We knew that if a couple of us were there until close to the end that we had a pretty good shot at winning.”

The narrative of this World Cup has centered around the so-called ‘Associate’ nations challenging the established order and Wednesday’s game at the Gabba was labelled, by many quarters, as the game of the tournament thus far.

“Yeah, just remind me, was it two teams outside the top eight that played this game that made it a good game, was it?,” he said, tongue in cheek at the post-game press conference.

Ireland are now well positioned in Pool B with only India and West Indies above them on net run-rate. South Africa and India, realistically speaking, are games Ireland aren’t expected to get anything from but the fixtures against Zimbabwe and Pakistan will determine the final standings and which four teams progress.

“We’re two from two, so that’s all we can ask at this stage of the competition. We’ve got four points, and that’s all we can ask for right now.”

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Ryan Bailey

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