West Indies v Ireland, 1st T20, Kingston February 19, 2014

Simmons hails victory over world champions


Phil Simmons, the Ireland coach, has hailed the upset win over the West Indies as a mammoth and much-needed confidence booster ahead of the World Twenty20 in March. Simmons added that the fact that the win came in West Indies' back-yard made it even more important to his team but warned his charges not to rest on their laurels as they look to close out the series on Friday.

"It's a big victory because we are in West Indies' hometown so to beat the world champions, it's going to give us a lot of confidence, especially going into the World T20s in March," Simmons said. "It's good for us to beat [ICC] Full Members and especially the better ones such as the West Indies."

Simmons believes that while many West Indian players were still feeling the effects from the Nagico Super50 tournament, the time his team had to rest and acclimatise gave them a slight advantage.

"I think we've had more time to prepare and we were sharper today and got accustomed to the conditions. We bowled a lot better than we've done in the past and we also fielded a lot better. Our bowlers did the job and we came out on top."

Simmons praised the disciplined bowling of Alex Cusack as well as Tim Murtagh and Kevin O'Brien, all who scalped two apiece, to restrict the West Indies to a paltry 116 off their allotted 20.

He added that they had high hopes for left-arm spinner George Dockrell who also helped stymie the West Indians with a tidy 1 for 15 from his four overs. "He's been practising and working hard. He got his pace and his length well today and that's what helped our other bowlers get the wickets. It's nice to see him and Cusack back in form."

In their chase, Ireland took it to the last over before making 117 for the loss of four wickets but Simmons admitted that the batting needed improving if they were to mount a serious challenge in Bangladesh. Simmons said that changes were forthcoming as he wanted to bolster his batting as he believes they have a good understanding of the Sabina pitch now.

"I don't think the top couple of our batters batted as well as they could have. We did manage to end up batting smartly in the conditions though and it came down to a big partnership which is what you need in these circumstances, something around fifty or fifty-something," he continued. He was referencing the 58-run fourth-wicket partnership between Ed Joyce (40 not out) and Andrew Poynter (32) as the turning point which helped stabilise his team after they got off to a nervous start. They were pegged to 37 for 3 in the seventh over but recovered to take the win.

Renaldo Matadeen is a sportswriter and social media manager for ESPN Caribbean. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Derek on February 21, 2014, 17:38 GMT

    The result of cricket like all other sports is invariably decided by the better performance on the day unless influence by the weather or umpire. Ireland played better than the WI in all departments. When you enter ring believing all results are possible you compete for a result in your favour. Conversely when you get the idea in your head that your future results should ALWAYS be determined by your reputation; you end up competing against yourself and your opponent. Straight aftet the game the WI squad deserved to sit and watch the entire game. It would certainly take a few back to the first training session they attended.

  • charlie on February 20, 2014, 23:34 GMT

    All the talk about sacking coach ,captain and fast bowlers would change nothing for WI . This problem has been on going for the past 17 years ,so it's not these individuals to blame .Only god could change the state of affairs in WI cricket !!!

  • Dummy4 on February 20, 2014, 21:27 GMT

    So proud of our lads! We have some genuine talent in that squad - Stirling, Joyce and Dockrell are top class, Porterfield is a great captain and everyone else can contribute. The young fast bowlers are also promising, McCarter, Young and Thompson, so there's hope for the future. If we had Rankin and Morgan as well, we'd be very powerful indeed (I don't blame them or England for taking them by the way, who wouldn't want to play test cricket).

  • Dummy4 on February 20, 2014, 15:08 GMT

    Big names dont win matches! Imagine playing Gayle, Samuels and Sammy who have not played cricket in at least 6 weeks.The selectors should be castrated.

  • ESPN on February 20, 2014, 13:01 GMT

    Beating WI containing their best players something Ireland should be proud of especially on a foreign ground . Many of the lower tier test teams have not accomplished that in years of playing . I feel Ireland even with the drain of talent to England is a better team with more depth than Zimbabwe and Bangladesh

  • ESPN on February 20, 2014, 11:23 GMT

    Can West Indies swap coaches?? After the T20 World Cup Gibson must go!!!!

  • Sarthak on February 20, 2014, 7:13 GMT

    Ireland are the giant killers of cricket. Best of luck for WT20.

  • Android on February 20, 2014, 6:54 GMT

    I see this win as a committed effort by a group of cricketers aiming for a test status rather than WI performing abysmally. Ireland, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan need to play more matches internationally. current schedule is irrationally biased towards top nations.

  • Dummy4 on February 20, 2014, 6:44 GMT

    True. Disappointing Performance by Windies. Team Selection is also not good.Why fletcher / Charls not included insted of Ramdin.Plz Get rid of Ramdin pl. Russel ,Smith and Sammy all all rounder they shld include some Real fast bowler like holder taylor or Roache....................

  • $$ milind on February 20, 2014, 6:37 GMT

    Would have loved Trent Johnston playing but he's retired. Ireland need to play the next game without complacency and believe they can take the series 2-0.

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