Monday 30 January 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Ashwini Bhatia Gary Wilson does brilliantly to prevent a six but his efforts were in vain.
# Setback
'It's an unfortunate time to get it wrong': Ireland left to soul-search after nightmare start
William Porterfield says Ireland are down but certainly not out.

A HUMBLING DEFEAT to World Twenty20 debutants Oman was not part of Ireland’s plan but William Porterfield insists his side can still qualify for the next phase of the tournament.

Ireland were expected to start their campaign with a win in Dharamsala but instead slumped to a shock two-wicket defeat to an Oman side playing in their first global event.

It is a sobering dose of realism for John Bracewell’s charges as their worst fears were realised with a dramatic loss.

Their hopes of progressing from Group A now hang by a thread with games against Bangladesh and Netherlands on the horizon.

Ireland need to win both matches and hope other results go their way if they are to have any chance of securing a place in the Super 10s.

But Porterfield remained upbeat about the outlook despite today’s damaging result.

“It was very disappointing, hard to take but to a large extent it’s still in our own hands,” he said. “We’ve done a lot of good things before this first game, we didn’t get it quite right tonight but we got to address that come Friday.

“I think that’s more mental than anything because we’ve done a lot of good things before today and if we get that right and come back fresh on Friday then as long as Oman lose a game then it’s still in our own hands.

“We have to win two games and it is what it is.”

Gary Wilson top scored with 38 as Ireland posted 154-5 after Porterfield won the toss and elected to bat first.

India World T20 Cricket Ireland Oman Ashwini Bhatia It was an historic day for Oman. Ashwini Bhatia

Porterfield admitted it was a total they were confident of defending but Zeeshan Maqsood (38) and Khawar Ali (34) combined to put Ireland on the backfoot with an early onslaught.

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The introduction of Kevin O’Brien to the bowling attacked appeared to swing the game back in Ireland’s favour as Oman lost wickets in quick succession but a 32-run blitz from Aamer Ali sparked wild celebrations.

Ali was dismissed with three runs still required but it was too little, too late as Tim Murtagh and then Max Sorensen failed to hold their nerve as pressure told.

Sorensen, in particular, bowled a spate of full tosses in the final over, from which Oman required 14, to hand the underdogs victory on a plate.

But Porterfield defended his bowlers and maintained that they will bounce back on Friday at the same venue.

“A lot of the lads have been there and done it in that scenario before,” the captain continued. ”I wouldn’t say pressure.

“We just didn’t get it quite right in those last four or five overs and there’s an area of the game we’ve done really well in over the last six weeks so it’s just an unfortunate time to get it wrong.

“First game of the World cup it’s unfortunate for ourselves that that’s the time we got it wrong.

“As I said that’s going to be a mental thing to come back fresh and turn it around on Friday. It’s a big game.

“They got off to a good start with the bat and we clawed it back very well and we would have been favourites going into the last few overs but they nicked a few and got a few away and they played very well and unfortunately these things happen but we just need to come back strong on Friday.

“We’ve been in these positions before and we were in a good space so you don’t lose that overnight. We need to freshen up mentally and have strong plans against Bangladesh and be confident enough to execute them.”

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Oh man! Horror show for Ireland as World Twenty20 campaign begins with shock defeat

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