Rediff India Abroad
 Rediff India Abroad Home  |  All the sections


The Web

India Abroad

Sign up today!

Mobile Downloads
Text 67333
Article Tools
Email this article
Top emailed links
Print this article
Contact the editors
Discuss this Article
Home > Cricket > The Cup > Reuters > Report

Debut draw leaves Ireland skipper dazed

Simon Evans | March 16, 2007 12:24 IST

Related Articles
Images: Zimbabwe vs Ireland
Zimbabwe, Ireland in thrilling tie
Images: Sri Lanka vs Bermuda
A dazed and emotional Ireland captain Trent Johnston could hardly believe what he had witnessed after his team fought back for a thrilling tie with Zimbabwe in their World Cup debut on Thursday.

Ireland made 221 for nine, with Jeremy Bray scoring an unbeaten 115, before a dramatic finale saw them claim four wickets and restrict their opponents to just 12 runs off the final four overs.

Johnston said the entire day, with hundreds of Irish fans singing and cheering in Sabina Park had been hard to take in.

"The first hour was surreal -- just being at the World Cup, seeing the cameras and the fans going crazy -- it was just an unbelievable experience and it is just going to get better" the Australian-born Johnston told a news conference.

Ireland face Pakistan on Saturday and then hosts West Indies in their remaining Group D games in the Jamaican capital.

"We've come here to promote cricket in Ireland and we have shown there is good cricket in Ireland and given people an entertaining game to watch," he added.

Johnston was full of praise for his side, singling out the approach of the bowlers of the dramatic final two overs -- medium pacer Kevin O'Brien and off-spinner Andrew White.

"They are two gutsy cricketers," said Johnston, "There was no shake of the head when I threw them the ball and that is what this team is all about and why we can hang tough like that," he added.

"I thought 221 was enough but of course it depended on how we bowled but I knew if we could squeeze them we could put them under pressure.

"We got a bit of luck when (Brendan) Taylor was run out and that was the lifeline we needed," said the Irish skipper referring to the dismissal of Zimbabwe's wicketkeeper when the African appeared to be heading comfortably to victory.

"We squeezed them and then the bowling at the end was outstanding in the last eight overs," he added.

Ireland's performance was accompanied by plenty of singing and dancing from a high-spirited travelling support and even though the crowd barely passed 2,000 Johnston said they had made a difference.

"We knew they were coming and there will be more coming for the game on Saturday. They cheered every dot ball and bit of fielding. They were liked 12th and 13th men for us. That is what got us home in the last few overs," he said.

The Cup: The Complete Coverage

Would you like to join the Cricket and Cricket Lovers Discussion Group and discuss your cricket views with other cricket freaks? Click here. Have fun!

© Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.