Cricket World Cup 2015: Niall O'Brien says Ireland must improve

Ireland batsman Niall O'Brien
Niall O'Brien is playing in his third World Cup for Ireland

Ireland "got out of jail" in their World Cup victory over the United Arab Emirates, batsman Niall O'Brien says.

Ireland lie third in Pool B following Wednesday's anxious last-over win in Brisbane and are well placed to progress to the last eight.

William Porterfield's side have four points from two matches and next face South Africa in Canberra on 3 March.

"If we had lost, it would have been a real kick in the teeth. We can play a lot better and we will," said O'Brien.

Ireland will also face Zimbabwe, defending champions India and Pakistan as they target the top-four spot in Pool B that will ensure qualification to the World Cup quarter-finals.

"It was not our most accomplished performance - we were a bit scrappy all round," O'Brien, 33, said of the two-wicket win over the UAE part-timers.

"UAE batted really well and we got out of jail. We didn't play well but it is two points.

"In the end fitness and a bit of professionalism from ourselves showed."

Ireland were favourites to see off UAE at the Gabba following their opening victory over the West Indies, but they looked in trouble at 97-4 chasing a target of 279.

The match came down to the final over, spinner George Dockrell hitting the winning runs with four balls to spare.

"The lads showed their experience, especially from about 25-30 overs out to see us home," Ireland captain Porterfield said.

"When we had them on the ropes at 130-6, we were trying to kill the game then. Shaiman Anwar played fantastically well for his hundred, so you have to give credit to them.

"There were a couple of periods in the game where it got a bit frantic and we lost a couple of wickets quickly at two different stages.

"The lads held their nerve and did a good job in the end."

UAE skipper Mohammad Tauqir admitted the game got away from his side in the last 15 overs, especially during Kevin O'Brien's a 24-ball half-century.

"The spinners were playing well, but Kevin O'Brien took the game from us," said Tauqir.

"It was difficult because there was a lot of dew as the game went on and the ball was slippery."

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