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World T20

Irish consistency can go a long way, says Porterfield

Ireland’s cricketers are confident that they can beat anyone when the World T20 begins in Sri Lanka next week.

WILLIAM PORTERFIELD KNOWS that Ireland’s cricketers will need to show killer instinct if they are to make the most of their September in Sri Lanka.

The Irish team face a Zimbabwe XI in Colombo on Wednesday as they continue their final preparations for next week’s ICC World T20 opening group game against Australia.

Darren Sammy’s West Indies are the other team drawn in Group B, and with Ireland needing at least one win to have any chance of a place in the Super Eight stage, captain Porterfield knows they will need to take whatever chance they get.

“Obviously we’re confident within ourselves with what we’ve got,” he said at a press conference on Tuesday. “We know we can got out there and beat any team on our day so we’ve got to go out there and play to our potential.

The way we found the last World Cup, we came up short. I know it was a 50-over competition but there was probably 10 to 15 overs throughout games where we maybe lost our way and that was the defining moment in games. Coming into the last 10 overs of every game we were right in there so it’s just a matter of getting across the line and being more consistent.

I think our consistency has improved. We’ve obviously shown we can beat teams but we’ve just got to do it on a more consistent basis. The more games you win, the further you’re going to go in competitions.

The coup of recruiting former Australian paceman Craig McDermott as bowling coach has helped boost confidence within the squad, Porterfield added.

“Craig’s come in and fit in pretty well and worked with the bowlers. They’re taking confidence from him. Obviously something might be made of the fact that he was with Australia before us but he’s come in and he’s seen what we’ve got and he’s got a lot of confidence within the squad that we can go out there and beat anyone.”

While Ireland might have crept into previous tournaments under the radar, they arrive in Sri Lanka as winners of the T20 Qualifying Tournament. After seeing the team’s exploits at the 50-over World Cup in India last year, cricket’s big boys will be on guard this time.

I don’t know about surprise package. I think that over the last few years we’ve had a lot more exposure. I think the way things are at the minute, everybody knows everything about everyone.

I think we’ve certainly got some excitement there with Paul Stirling at the top of the order. Obviously Kev O’Brien, we’ve seen at the last World Cup the potential he’s got as well. There’s a few other lads in there batting around them that can do a job as well.

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