Cricket World Cup 2011
Ireland hold on to Cup dream
Will Porterfield. (AFP)
Bangalore - Irish skipper William Porterfield still believes his team can qualify for the World Cup quarter-finals despite their five-wicket defeat to India.
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Ireland, who have won just one of their three matches in Group B, still have to face the West Indies, South Africa and the Netherlands in their remaining games.
"We've got three games left and there's no reason we can't beat any of the three teams we're playing," said Porterfield.
Ireland are fifth in Group B with two points, two behind South Africa and West Indies with the top four teams in each pool going into the last eight.
Indian star Yuvraj Singh, who was named man of the match in Sunday's game for his brilliant all-round performance (5-31 and 50 not out), was all praise for Ireland, saying they could surprise any big team in the tournament.
"At the last World Cup in the Caribbean, they beat Pakistan and in this tournament they successfully chased 327 (against England). They have been doing really well," said Yuvraj.
"Their fielding was outstanding and the stand (113 runs between Porterfield and Niall O'Brien) was very good. They can put big teams under pressure. They should be playing a lot of international cricket."
Porterfield added that his team's never-say-die attitude will always make them a handful.
"I am happy with the way my team fought and the way the boys fielded and bowled," Porterfield said after his side succeeded in keeping pressure on the home side in the day-night match on Sunday.
Porterfield rallied Ireland with an impressive 75, steadying the innings with a 113-run stand with Niall O'Brien (46) after his side had lost two wickets for nine runs.
Ireland, who upset England by three wickets last week, bowled and fielded superbly while defending a modest total of 207 as they reduced India to 100-4 before Yuvraj guided his side home with an unbeaten 50.
"Losing two wickets in three overs is not good for any team. We did well from there, but we kept losing wickets after that," Porterfield said, adding his dismissal came at the wrong time.
The Irish captain fell just when his side looked set for the final onslaught after reaching 160-5 in 37 overs, caught in the covers by Harbhajan Singh off Yuvraj.
"We should have kicked on from there, but we lost wickets and that set us back a bit. But we did well to keep the Indians under pressure, especially defending a small total like that," he said.
"We did well. We're fighting well and we fought right until the end. An extra 40 runs could have been interesting."
Left-arm spinner George Dockrell put India in a spot when he removed batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar (38) and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (34), after paceman Trent Johnston had rocked India with two early wickets.