Porterfield upbeat despite defeat
Ireland captain Will Porterfield has targeted a famous victory over New Zealand tomorrow despite watching his side slip to an eight-wicket loss against reigning ICC World Twenty20 champions India at Trent Bridge.
The sides were contesting the final Group A fixture before both move on the next stage and the Irish were outclassed from the off as Zaheer Khan ripped through their top order with 4-19.
They eventually struggled to a respectable 112 for eight in their 18 overs but India cruised home with 2.3 overs to spare as Rohit Sharma clubbed 52.
There is no let-up for Porterfield’s men though, with injury-plagued New Zealand next up tomorrow.
And the opening batsman insists he is not content with valiant defeat against a Black Caps side who are struggling to muster 11 fully fit players.
“We’re not too concerned with the New Zealand situation. Obviously it would be a boost to us if they struggle but as long as we concentrate on ourselves and our own 15 are fit and available, then that is best for us,” he said.
“We’ve spoken about the fact that it doesn’t matter what team we play against in this tournament or who is at the other end.
“When you cross the white line it’s 11 versus 11 and man against man.
“We’re just going out to be competitive and do what we do and I think we did that against India.”
The Gloucestershire batsman added: “With a bit of luck going our way and if we can play to our potential we are capable of causing upsets.
“We will go out with a plan to win the game.
“We want to get our Super Eights off to a winning start and why not?
“We knew today was going to be a big step up from Bangladesh but this is why we’re here. We want to play the best teams in the world and we aspire to get nearer and nearer to those teams.”
Porterfield said former captain Trent Johnston would return to the side for tomorrow’s fixture, having been rested for this match, with Andre Botha looking most vulnerable.
Andrew White, though, may have done enough to keep his place after top-scoring with a counter-attacking 29.
India begin their Super Eights campaign on Friday against the West Indies at Lord’s and the in-form Zaheer, only recently back in the side following a shoulder problem, has already targeted their main man.
“Chris Gayle is definitely a match-winner. It will be a good to take his wicket early.,” he said. “If we can get him out early it will be a big help.”
Zaheer, meanwhile, is pleased just to have the chance of helping his side roll over Gayle and company following his injury worries.
“This was the second game back for me, and it was important I picked up some wickets,” he said.
“At any level, wickets boost your confidence. It was a narrow escape for me because the injury could have been worse. I was lucky to get away with only four weeks.”