England skipper pats Ireland for sensational victory

March 3rd, 2011 - 2:35 am ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, March 3 (IANS) A distraught English skipper Andrew Strauss late Wednesday was gracious to acknowledge that minnows Ireland fully deserved victory in their Group B encounter in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 at the Chinnaswamy stadium here.

“Though I am shocked and bitterly disappointed over the defeat, Ireland fully deserved the victory for way they fought against us and chased the big score (327) with an extraordinary batting by Kevin O’Brien, who snatched the game away from us,” Strauss told reporters after Ireland beat favourites England by three wickets in 49.1 overs.

Vowing to bounce back in the remaining three league matches (against South Africa, West Indies and Bangladesh) over the next three weeks for a berth in the quarter finals, Strauss said they were very much in the game till the 25th over when the never-say-die Irish were five down for a paltry 111.

“Our World Cup dream is not over yet, as we had done a reasonable job with the bat and ball initially. Things looked comfortable till O’Brien and (Alexander) Cusack dug in and built a strong partnership (162 runs) for the sixth wicket and turned the tables against us,” a beleaguered Strauss recalled.

Admitting that shoddy bowling and fielding during the second half with three-four dropped catches cost them the game dearly, the English captain said the opponents made smart use of the power plays and came back into the game in a dramatic fashion.

“I’m still at a loss to explain it (dropping catches), we’re doing exactly the same fielding drills and I still think we’re an excellent fielding side. But full credit to Kevin who was pretty brutal and hit some great shots during the power play,” Strauss added.

– Indo-Asian News Service

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