I did say in my last column that we were slow starters and fortunately for us, it's seems that this time we were even slower than last time round, losing one of our warm up games to a well organised and fearless Papua New Guinea side.

Having won the previous day against a decent Dutch outfit I know there will be people saying that we were complacent against PNG and they would have a point.

Bottom line was, we were out batted, out bowled and out thought. That's not easy to say, believe me but unfortunately it's the way it was.

We spoke at length as batting and bowling groups the next day about how to put it right and how it was unacceptable as an Irish side to lose to PNG - all due respect to them, we have to be better than that. Our fans, the ICC and cricket, demands that we are.

Whilst we were critical, we were careful not to get too down on ourselves, after all it was a warm up game and the next 3 weeks would shape our winter. Not that one day. Despite our loss, we went into the tournament with great confidence, knowing that if we played our best cricket we would beat whoever we were playing on any given day.

The great thing about having an experienced squad is that guys have been there and done it before. So that when close games come along, we have full confidence in the man the captain chooses to get us over the finish line, whether that be with bat in hand, or with ball.

It's no secret that Phil likes experience in his squads and you can see why. One thing that William is very big on is knowing each other's game - what everyone's options are. Sitting on the sideline he wants us to be able to call what a particular batter is going to do in that over.

In the field, we need to know what a bowler's go-to option is. It just breeds confidence. Having played with Porty since we were 12 years old its been an unbelievable experience watching him grow in to the captain he is today... In many people's opinion, one of the finest in world cricket. For a man who took on the job at 22, that is a fair effort.

Our first game of the tournament was against Namibia, the side that shocked us with their aggression a year and a half ago. This time around we were determined not to be found wanting and after being asked to bat, posted an above par 160 odd with Paul Stirling and William getting us off to a great start.

As it turned out, the southern Africans were never in the game, Alex Cusack proving once again why he is so vital in this form of the game, with old hand Tim Murtagh also bowling very well. With the format of this tournament they way it is, means a quick turnaround for game 2 the next day against possibly our biggest threat in the group, Canada.

Again losing the toss, and asked to bat first, perhaps a strange decision on a pitch that had just been used in the morning game we posted a decent score of 168 on a good wicket. Everyone having a share of the runs. Trent Johnston promoted up the order to try and clear the ropes off their part time bowlers ended up playing a very responsible innings after the loss of Niall O'brien for a well played 26. It was nice to put on a few with Trent and accelerate at a time when the team needed it.

The Canadian innings couldn't have started any better for us with Max Sorensen (only opening the bowling because TJ was off with a blow to the knee while batting) picked up two wickets off the first two balls. We didn't think we would have to wait another 17 overs for another drink. As it was with the Canadians needing 15 off the last over and Cusey to bowl it, we were safe.

As Stirlo said.... "Cusey has never gone for 15 in an over in his life" cue panic stations as the 3rd ball disappeared over his head for six! Even then though... It was like when United were one down in '99 against Munich. You just knew.... Like I said, experience!

So two from two heading into the UAE game and we knew a win here would send us in to the two day break in a great position to qualify. This time we were on a different pitch, away from the stadium where we were confronted with a slow low wicket that was not conducive to stroke play and we were quickly three down before myself and Kev managed to build a partnership and put on 92 before he was out in the 19th over.

This time we were only around par with 138 and would have to bowl well to get over the line. We knew however, that it was tricky to score from straight back of a length deliveries and when Stirlo turned to me at slip and said.. "They are gonna be block bash here mate, it's gonna be dot, dot, six" I said " nah mate, difficult wicket to hit sixes on, this" the next ball was duly dispatched over mid wicket for six. We looked at each other and didn't know whether to laugh but we knew we were in a game.

In truth, the UAE were strolling and only a combination of good spells from Stirlo, George Dockrell and Max and some very naive batting (they kept trying to clear the boundary into a hurricane) got us back in to the game.

An outstanding last over from Trent saw us win by 5 runs. Good sides win games when they aren't at their best and that's what we have done in our last two games. It's by no means a coincidence though. I'm convinced it comes through know how and ability to deal in pressure situations.

From my own point of view, I'm catching the ball as well as I ever have and it's nice to be in the runs, even though I feel I could still be hitting it a bit better. I'm very comfortable in my processes in 20/20 and how to go about scoring my runs, building an innings and I think that stands you in good stead perhaps more than hitting every ball out of the middle.

Our first day off naturally saw us back on the course. Murtagh and Stirling beating Simmons and Wilson. I would say my back is getting sore carrying him..... But he picks the squads.