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Tuesday 22 August 2017

William Porterfield: Let's move on from South Africa defeat

Irish captain knows they must beat Zimbabwe to have a chance

William Porterfield
William Porterfield

Ireland must put their chastening South Africa experience behind them swiftly to stay on their game when it really matters as a hectic late run of World Cup Pool B fixtures looms.

William Porterfield knows his team simply cannot afford any hint of a hangover from their 201-run trouncing at the hands of Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis and company when they face Zimbabwe in Hobart tomorrow.

A quarter-final place is still realistic - but with two more matches still to come in six days, against table-topping India and finally Pakistan, a slip-up against Zimbabwe will surely be costly.

excess

Ireland, on the back of an opening win over West Indies and then another against UAE, had no answer to the South Africans on Tuesday as they racked up a score in excess of 400 for the second successive match.

Porterfield has been at pains to ensure his team do not therefore carry any extra psychological baggage with them from Canberra to Tasmania.

"You've got to put it behind yourself pretty quickly," said the Irish captain.

"The tournament's back-end fixtures come pretty quickly for us. It's a pretty big two points for us... (but) I don't think it's make or break.

"Every game, we've gone into it looking for those two points... and against Zimbabwe it's not going to be any different."

Zimbabwe will be without their captain Elton Chigumbura, after the all-rounder tore a thigh muscle in the field during last weekend's 20-run defeat against Pakistan in Brisbane.

That outcome was a significant setback against opponents who had previously appeared vulnerable, and especially after Zimbabwe restricted Pakistan to 235 for seven.

qualify

In a tight group, they too could nonetheless still qualify for the last eight - and wicketkeeper Brendan Taylor remains optimistic, despite a tough final fixture against India.

"It's definitely a little more added pressure," he said.

"Ireland are playing some good cricket, and we feel we are 80 per cent there. I think if we can just close that gap a little bit more, we're heading in the right direction for a good win against Ireland.

"If we can do that, India have been on the road for a long time... there's no reason why we can't have that self-belief that we can win."

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