Kolkata - Irish skipper William Porterfield has said his team will take a lot of positives from the World Cup, after emerging as the best of the non-Test sides.
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"We've done a lot of good things in this World Cup. We've gained experience and will be taking back a lot from this tournament," Porterfield said after his side's 131-run defeat against South Africa in Kolkata on Tuesday.
The loss ended Ireland's slender chances of making it to the quarterfinals, but they won plenty of hearts with their impressive showings.
Their biggest moment came when they pulled off the upset of the tournament by defeating England in a high-scoring game in Bangalore.
It was Ireland's second big win in successive World Cups, having shocked Pakistan in the 2007 edition in the Caribbean.
"Beating England was the highlight of the World Cup for us. Our bowling and fielding have been right up there with anyone," said Porterfield.
Kevin O'Brien played a crucial role in Ireland's win over England, smashing the fastest World Cup century off just 50 balls, as his side successfully chased a 328-run target.
"We have been in several winning positions. We were right in the game against the West Indies and should have won the match against Bangladesh," said the Irish skipper.
Ireland faltered in the later stages against Bangladesh before losing by 27 runs, and then gave a scare or two to the West Indies in a 44-run defeat.
They also caught the eye with their tight bowling and fielding display against South Africa, one of the strong favourites for the World Cup, when they reduced them to 117-5.
South Africa recovered to post 272-7, a total which eventually proved too big for Ireland as they were bowled out for 141 in 33.2 overs.
The Irish captain said the inability to build a big partnership severely affected his team's chances against South Africa.
"I don't think the total was a big problem, but we just kept losing wickets after we bowled and fielded well. What we lack is strong partnerships," said Porterfield.
The highest stand of Ireland's innings was 41 for the fifth wicket between Gary Wilson (31) and Kevin O'Brien (19).
Ireland also kept pressure on South Africa with their superb fielding, with Porterfield and John Mooney having a hand in the run-outs of Jacques Kallis and skipper Graeme Smith.
Ireland, with two points from five matches, will clash with the Netherlands in their last game at the Eden Gardens on Friday.