Ireland’s coach, Phil Simmons has described the upset win over the West Indies as a much-needed confidence booster ahead of the World Twenty20 in March.
Ireland steamrolled the World T20 champions by six wickets in the first of two T20 Internationals at Sabina Park, on Wednesday.
Simmons, a former West Indies player, is also warning his players not to rest on their laurels as they look to close out the series today.
“It’s a big victory because we are in West Indies’ hometown so to beat the world champions, it’s going to give us a lot of confidence, especially going into the World T20s in March,” Simmons said.
“It’s good for us to beat [ICC] Full Members and especially the better ones such as the West Indies.”
Ireland’s first-ever T20 win over West Indies follows heavy defeats against Guyana and Jamaica in the recently concluded NAGICO Super50.
Simmons believes that while many West Indies players were still feeling the effects from the Nagico Super50 tournament, his team—eliminated before the semi-finals—had enough time to rest and acclimatise.
“I think we’ve had more time to prepare and we were sharper today (Wednesday) and got accustomed to the conditions,” said Simmons.
“We bowled a lot better than we’ve done in the past and we also fielded a lot better. Our bowlers did the job and we came out on top.”
Simmons praised the disciplined bowling of Alex Cusack as well as Tim Murtagh and Kevin O’Brien, who picked up two wickets each to restrict the West Indies to a paltry 116 off their allotted 20 overs.