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Porterfield proud as Ireland ease past Windies


Nelson (New Zealand): Ireland captain William Porterfield said he expected his side to qualify for the quarter-finals of the World Cup as they launched their 2015 campaign by beating the West Indies today in yet another giantkilling display.

Set a target of 305 for victory in their Pool B opener at Nelson’s Saxton Oval, Ireland won with more than four overs to spare after Paul Stirling (92), Ed Joyce (84) and Niall O’Brien (79 not out) made light work of a lacklustre West Indies’ attack.

“It’s fantastic to win,” said Porterfield. “This sets us up nicely for the next few games. Belief has been growing within the squad for a long time and we know what we are capable of.”

Ireland, bidding for Test status themselves, have now enjoyed wins over major nations at three successive World Cups, with Monday’s triumph following their victories over Pakistan (2007) and England (2011).

But Porterfield doesn’t want his side to be content with the odd pool win here and there.

“I believe Ireland can qualify for the knockout stages… We just want to keep proving ourselves to the others,” he said.

Ireland, who finished on 307 for six, became the first team at this World Cup to win a match batting second and their victory might have been even more emphatic.

After Porterfield won the toss, Ireland reduced the West Indies to 87 for five, with spinner George Dockrell taking three for 50.

But Lendl Simmons, the nephew of Ireland coach and former West Indies batsman Phil Simmons, made 102 and put on 154 for the sixth wicket with Darren Sammy (89).

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