Joyce confident Ireland can reach Super Eights
Ger Siggins (Irish Daily Star)
Ed Joyce is convinced Ireland can make the Super Eight phase of the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.
"We should have beaten the West Indies in the 50 over World Cup last year", he told the Irish Daily Star yesterday.
"We've played a lot together as a team and we have the weaponry to win this game. There's no doubt they've got some strong weapons too – Chris Gayle can take the game away from any team in the world, and our lads haven't faced (new mystery spinner) Sunil Narine before. But if we can be more aggressive than we were against Australia we can do it."
Ireland were rocked by losing William Porterfield first ball in their first game here, but Joyce – who celebrates his 34th birthday today – is sure the top order will start firing on Monday.
"The top four batsmen can't all fail in both games so I'd expect us to get a better start next time. I'd expect a couple from Porty (Porterfield), Stirlo (Paul Stirling), Nobby (Niall O'Brien) and myself to get a good score.
"And the middle order showed they can get the runs under pressure – 90 off the last 12 was a top effort. If we can give them a good start we have the weapons to get 150, 160, which could be a winning score."
Ireland trained yesterday, and there may be a sign of a change in Phil Simmons's thinking as Stirling was partnered with Niall O'Brien, with Porterfield and Joyce batting next.
Porterfield has had a disappointing season with the bat, and has been out first ball on four occasions for Ireland in 2012.
And with Max Sorensen bowling in tandem with Boyd Rankin and Trent Johnston at training, another selection move may be on the cards.
Sorensen was surprisingly omitted for Nigel Jones, who was then not given a bowl against Australia.