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'I don't have sympathy for my opponents. It's not in me' - Phil Simmons

Nelson win was as good an Irish performance as coach Phil Simmons has ever seen.

Source: Ross Setford

IRELAND WOKE UP to another famous Cricket World Cup win this morning, and coach Phil Simmons was savouring every second of it.

George Dockrell took three wickets and Paul Stirling led the charge with a knock of 92 as Ireland stunned the West Indies in their opening Group B game.

Trinidad and Tobago native Simmons, who played more than 140 one-day internationals for the Windies, had no mixed emotions.

He said: “I don’t have sympathy for my opponents. It’s not in me.

“We’re playing against you, I have to win the game.

In the next game, I’ll be supporting them definitely, but when I’m playing against them I’m supporting me and me alone.

Simmons’ nephew, Lendl, had threatened to spoil the Irish party with a brilliant middle-order 102 before he was caught by Dockrell off a Max Sorensen ball.

His century steadied the ship after the West Indies fell to 87-5 early on and lost star men Chris Gayle and Darren Bravo.

Their 304/7 total set Ireland a tough task but the top of the order batted superbly with captain William Porterfield, Stirling, Ed Joyce and Niall O’Brien combining for 278.

Simmons said: “It’s the first game but all round in the field, and the top three or four, how they batted, that’s the way we want to play cricket.

“Whether we win or lose the game, that’s how we want to play, in a positive way. It excited me today the way we played cricket.

All round, with the bat, with the ball, it’s the best I’ve seen so far and it augurs well for the future.

Ireland now have a nine-day break before they take on the United Arab Emirates on 25 February, where a win would edge them closer to a place in the knockout rounds, something which seemed unlikely after a patchy warm-up campaign.

“The preparation has been great,” Simmons insisted. “The preparation for the last four months has been brilliant.

“I don’t think anything was wrong with the preparation. I think we prepared well and it was the right time for everything to come together.”

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Niall Kelly

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