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Cricket World Cup: Ireland player Andrew White's column

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011
Tournament dates: 19 February-2 April Venues: India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh
Coverage: Highlights on BBC TV (see listings), Red Button & BBC Sport website at 2200 GMT every day (UK users only); Live Test Match Special commentary (BBC 5 live sports extra, online, some games also on BBC Radio 4 LW) and live text commentary on England matches and selected others; Live on Sky Sports

By Andrew White
Ireland all-rounder

The moment Ireland beat England in Bangalore
The moment Ireland beat England in Bangalore

Boy, have I enjoyed writing this column! We are all still on a high after beating England but after much celebration we have got to get back to the job in hand.

Our attention now turns to a thrilling encounter on Sunday with the hosts India, one of the tournament favourites.

We have had plenty of rest and are getting focused on the task that lies ahead.

One of the greatest batsmen ever to lift a piece of willow in this game, Sachin Tendulkar, awaits among other world stars.

However, with belief and renewed confidence there will be no fear as we target another major scalp.

Going back to the England match, there were about 200 fervent Ireland cricket supporters in Bangalore and they will always be able to say, "I was there"!

For us players, a result like this has been on the cards for some time, however to beat England in a World Cup, breaking records along the way, has simply made victory so much sweeter.

One man in particular, Kevin O'Brien, played the innings of his life, recording the fastest World Cup century in quite exhilarating fashion.

It is certainly a DVD that he can store in the cupboard and someday show the grandchildren.

The confidence of England's bowlers is at rock bottom and as soon as Kevin O'Brien had taken the game away from them, it was an absolutely breathtaking piece of hitting

Jonathan Agnew

From the most unlikely of positions he took us to the brink of victory with a simply world-class performance and one that must surely be one of Irish sport's most glorious moments.

In the words of ex-football pundit Andy Gray, "Kevin O'Brien….take a bow son".

We always knew we had the confidence to cause upsets at this World Cup, and had talked openly about it. I have said previously it was not bravado but merely confidence from past results and in our abilities through hard work over long winter months.

Chasing a huge 328 for victory requires a great deal of skill but above all mental strength to firstly believe and then to hold your nerve when the pressure is on.

The three calmest people in the ground just happened to be Kevin, Alex Cusack and John Mooney, who finally hit the winning runs.

Kevin has stolen the headlines and rightly so but in years to come hopefully people will not forget the vital contributions that Alex and John made.

With more than 300 international caps between them it was proof that experience counts for a great deal in sport at this level.

England, an outstanding cricket team, fresh from their own brilliance in the Ashes series were left scratching their heads and were visibly shell-shocked at what had unfolded before them.

The scenes when the ball crossed the boundary line for the winning run were ones of euphoria and jubilation, both on the dressing room balcony and also in the stands where the supporters air fares were paid for tenfold.

The celebrations carried long into the night as the hotel accommodated the team and all the Ireland supporters.

To their great credit a few of the England team joined us, led by captain Andrew Strauss on what was a ruined 34th birthday for him.

As our opening batsman Paul Stirling said: "It will take a long time for the magnitude of this victory to sink in but after all, it's what we set out to do and it's only part of the job that we want to achieve."

Bring on India.

Ireland celebrate beating England at the cricket World Cup

Ireland seal shock win over England

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see also
Hero O'Brien hails 'best innings'
02 Mar 11 |  Ireland
Brilliant Ireland shock England
02 Mar 11 |  Cricket
World Cup guide: Ireland
14 Feb 11 |  Ireland
Cricket World Cup 2011 squads
19 Jan 11 |  Cricket
Cricket World Cup 2011
09 Mar 11 |  Cricket

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