Need more chances to bridge gap with top teams, says Ireland’s Andrew Balbirnie | Cricket News


MELBOURNE: Ireland’s captain Andrew Balbirnie said his team needed regular opportunities against top teams to improve after ending their T20 World Cup campaign with a loss to New Zealand in Adelaide on Friday.
Qualifiers Ireland sent shockwaves when they beat tournament favorites England in a rain-affected Super 12 match, but failed to register another win in Group 1, finishing with just three points from five games.
Paceman Josh Little claimed a hat-trick on Friday but it was not enough to overcome a 35-run defeat against New Zealand at the Adelaide Oval.
“There are a few moments in the last games where you thought what if, but at the same time we are still a little bit away from these top teams,” Balbirnie said in his assessment of their performance in the tournament.
“We need to keep improving and playing regular cricket against them so that we can improve and expand our squad as much as we can.
“We have guys that are ready to come in whenever they get the opportunity.”
“At the start of the tournament I said getting to the Super 12s would be a bonus. That’s our goal. That would be considered successful.
“We played some pretty good cricket, and it’s just a shame that we couldn’t create something really special.”
It was still an improvement for the team, which failed to reach the Super 12 last year.
Balbirnie said hard work and a change in mindset helped them grow better, a trend they want to continue.
“We’re by no means the finished article, but we’re certainly a better team than we were 12 months ago, and that’s all you can ask for,” the opener said.
“Hopefully in a month we’ll be even better than we are now.”


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