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Experienced Ireland hitting their peak, says Wilson

Ireland wicket-keeper Gary Wilson talks to TheScore.ie ahead of Saturday’s RSA Challenge against Australia in Belfast

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

IRELAND GO INTO Saturday’s one-day international against Australia confident that they can cause an upset, wicket-keeper Gary Wilson said.

The Surrey star was part of the Irish team which came close to shocking the 2007 world champions in Dublin two summers ago, only to throw away their chance with a middle-order meltdown.

Australia hung on for a 39-run win that day but the Ireland squad they face in Stormont this weekend is two years older and wiser with World Cup experience and a World T20 qualifying trophy in the bag. As a group, Wilson feels that they’re only starting to reach their full potential.

“We have guys who have more experience now in one-day and Twenty20 cricket so that can only help,” he told TheScore.ie. “I think where we are now as a team, we’re close to peaking.

Within the next year or two we’ll be at our peak as a team. We’re very lucky that we’ve got a great group of players at this time and we’re confident that we can go out and get a result against Australia.

Coach Phil Simmons welcomes Ed Joyce back into his 13-man squad as well Londoner Tim Murtagh, who declared for Ireland earlier this year. Their inclusion brings the total number of county cricket players to eight, including Wilson who scored two half-centuries for Surrey in the Friends Life t20 last week.

“We’ve got guys performing week in week out in county cricket; not only performing, but dominating — Paul Stirling scored 70 the other day against Hampshire.

We’ve people winning games now in county cricket. Five years ago it was just Ed Joyce who was the only one really performing well in county cricket. Whenever you’ve got six or seven, maybe eight guys performing well in county cricket, you’re doing good things.

The good thing is that it’s not just one person playing well. The whole squad is playing well.

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Niall Kelly

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