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Porterfield hails 'greatest day' with Ireland win

Ireland captain William Porterfield hailed "the greatest day of our lives" after his teammates rallied to an improbable three-wicket win over England at cricket's World Cup.

cricket Updated: Mar 03, 2011 02:55 IST

Ireland captain William Porterfield hailed "the greatest day of our lives" after his teammates rallied to an improbable three-wicket win over England at cricket's World Cup.

Aided by the World Cup's quickest ever century from Kevin O'Brien, Ireland recovered from 111-5 at halfway to overhaul England's 327-8 for arguably the competition's biggest ever upset. The win was even more surprising since Porterfield was bowled by James Anderson with the first ball of Ireland's reply, but that seemed an awful long time ago as Ireland's players celebrated.

The successful run chase eclipsed the previous best at the World Cup, set when Sri Lanka reached 317-7 against Zimbabwe in 1992, and O'Brien shattered Matthew Hayden's record of a 66-ball tournament century by 16 balls.

"Knocking off the biggest run chase in the World Cup, I think it has to be the greatest," Porterfield said. "And very much the greatest day of our lives so far, and one of the best performances as well."

There was some competition for that title, with shock wins over Pakistan and Zimbabwe at the previous World Cup in the Caribbean. But the combination of the perfect opponent and the perfect stage of cricket-mad India made sure this win topped the lot _ not least after a disappointing loss to Bangladesh last time out. "We believed in ourselves," Porterfield said. "We had a bit of an upset the other night when we should have knocked off 200 against Bangladesh. But the way the boys have bounced back, especially after losing a few early wickets, and being a hundred (111) for five, and still knocking it off was a great effort."

Attention will now turn to Sunday's match against India in Bangalore, an even sterner test of Ireland's credentials for a quarterfinal spot.

"We were confident before the tournament that we could (make it)," Porterfield said. "We obviously got a setback the other night and we knew we had to win tonight to stay in the race. "So we're still right in the tournament and we've still got a great chance of qualifying for the second phase."

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