Nelson (New Zealand), Feb 16: 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).
'We tried to be better with our bowling'
However, Simmons' words at the mid-innings break that the However, Simmons' words at the mid-innings break that the West Indies wanted "30 or 40 more runs" proved prophetic.
"It was a tough loss and obviously putting up 300 should have been enough, but it wasn't today," said defeated West Indies captain Jason Holder.
"They (Simmons and Sammy) added impetus for us towards the end, but it wasn't enough.
"We tried to be better with our bowling at the Powerplay and the death overs, but we weren't able to pull them back," he added following the latest chapter in the long decline of the two-time world champions.
"I think we just need to be a bit more precise when we set fields. We are just giving away too many boundaries during the middle overs."
A measure of Ireland's progress was that Monday's win no longer came as a huge surprise, although a few pundits started to doubt Porterfield's men after their warm-up defeat by fellow associate nation Scotland.
"Certainly not a shock or upset from this group of players. Warm-up games are just that," said former Ireland captain Trent Johnston on Twitter before, in a message to his old team-mates, adding: "Enjoy the celebrations as I know you can and will."