NELSON, New Zealand: Ireland captain William Porterfield demanded his side be treated with respect after their four-wicket World Cup win over the West Indies on Monday, denying the result was an upset and taking aim at cricket’s two tier system.
Elated at claiming yet another scalp from among cricket’s elite nations, Porterfield said he believed Ireland were good enough to be treated as equals.
After restricting the West Indies to 304 in their 50 overs at Saxon Oval in Nelson, Ireland chased down the target with a comfortable 25 balls to spare as they finished on 307 for six.
The 12th ranked Ireland are considered associate or junior members of the International Cricket Council (ICC), while the West Indies, a Test playing side, are among the top 10 team’s designated full members.
In theory, the full members should dominate ‘minnows’ such as Ireland, but Porterfield said it was no surprise to him they coasted home against the the West Indies.
“I don’t see it as an upset,” he said. “We prepared to come into this game to win, we’re going to prepare to go into the UAE (United Arab Emirates) game to win, South Africa after that and so on.”
Victory over the West Indies put Ireland in a good position to qualify for the quarter finals from Pool B.
South Africa, India and Pakistan are the senior teams in the pool and Ireland’s progress could be decided on the outcome of their game against Zimbabwe, another full member of the ICC.
“The term an upset, anything from minnows to associate, I don’t see why a team has to be an associate or a team has to be a full member,” Porterfield said.
“Sure you’re ranked one to whatever but It’s not like that in any other sport and I don’t see why it has to be like that in ours.”
Ireland’s top order all scored freely against the West Indies with Paul Stirling making 92, Ed Joyce 84 and Niall O’Brien an unbeaten 79.
Ireland have earned a reputation as giant killers at World Cups after beating England in 2011 and Pakistan four years before that, but have seldom been given opportunities to develop in between their appearances at the showpiece tournament.
In the four years since the last World Cup, Ireland have only played nine matches against full members while the West Indies have played 21 in the past year alone.
Porterfield believed he side would only get better as the tournament progressed.
“It was the intent we played with when we took the attack back to the West Indies (that was pleasing),” he said.
“They came at us pretty aggressively as well, and the way the lads came out and kept continuing the scoring was great and we knew there was more in the tank.”