Cricket World Cup 2015: Experience key to victory over UAE

Gary Wilson gets the ball past UAE wicketkeeper Swapnil Patil
Gary Wilson top scored with 80 from 69 balls against the UAE

Ireland and Surrey wicketkeeper Gary Wilson reflects on their thrilling World Cup victory against the United Arab Emirates.

A touch closer than we would have liked, there is no doubt about that.

Some have asked whether the difference of being favourites in the United Arab Emirates game compared to the slight underdog tag against West Indies in Nelson was a factor.

I don't buy into that myself. We have played many games against teams who are ranked below us in the table in the past so we are well aware of what it takes when playing with a so-called favourites tag.

I said in a couple of post-match interviews that I thought the key factor in us closing the game out, when it got close, was that we have been there and done it before.

It was a World Cup match, played to millions, so much riding on it and perhaps the UAE hadn't been under such pressure.

It was great to get the win and to be sitting two from two going into our game against South Africa in Canberra is huge. It's all we could ask for from our first two matches.

Ireland's remaining Pool B fixtures
DateOpponentVenue
Tuesday, 3 MarchSouth AfricaCanberra (Aus)
Saturday, 7 MarchZimbabweHobart (Aus)
Tuesday, 10 MarchIndiaHamilton (NZ)
Sunday, 15 MarchPakistanAdelaide (Aus)

Of course, there are things that we need to work on and to improve. Both of our bowling innings have followed a similar pattern and our death bowling is something that needs to be looked at and thought about.

To have had them 100-4 and let them get 280 isn't good enough, we know that and we also know if it was South Africa it could have been a lot more.

The pleasing thing is that we are getting into positions like that, we just haven't been able to close it out.

Our fielding in both games has been superb and that is something we will need to continue if we are to have a long run in the competition, it's an area that we can control.

We know that on our day we will compete with any team in the world when it comes to our skill levels, but at the minute it has to be our day.

With fielding it's different because we know we are probably one of the best in the world. We have shown time and again that we are right up there - guys like William Porterfield and John Mooney are world class.

We spoke about the need to outclass the UAE in all departments including our fitness, which we knew would be key. We knew if we could take it down to the wire our fitness would come through.

Kevin O'Brien launches into a big shot on his way to a blistering half century at the Gabba
Kevin O'Brien hit Ireland's fastest one-day international fifty, reaching the landmark from 24 balls

I can honestly say that I felt under control even when we were behind the rate and the UAE were starting to get on top. The role Andrew Balbirnie played can't be underestimated, it was so crucial at that time.

We needed to go through that rebuilding phase that would allow Kevin O'Brien to come in and play the way he did.

It gives the other guys so much confidence to see Kev play that way, he just strikes the ball beautifully from ball one.

That was when we felt in the most control, when Kev and I were batting we knew exactly what was to be done. Like I said earlier, we've seen these situations before.

The one disappointing thing for me was that I couldn't quite get the guys over the line. That has to be the hardest thing to do in cricket, to finish a game off.

Having said that I'm obviously delighted to have contributed to our win. Such fine margins mean that we are well on the way to achieving what we have come out here for.

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