If one needs to know how much Ireland’s six-wicket win over Scotland meant to the side, the tears of happiness rolling out of the eyes of the small number of Irish supporters at the Bellerive Oval on Wednesday will tell the whole tale.
The Irish fans contingent included all-rounder George Dockrell’s parents, his Melbourne-based sister, and his girlfriend, with some tears coming from Dockrell’s partner at the crease, Curtis Campher, who dedicated the knock to his family after receiving some bad news on the personal front last week.
Dockrell, who was involved in the unbeaten 119-run stand with Campher making 72 not out and remained unbeaten on 36, lifting Ireland out of trouble from 61/4 and successfully chased down 176, a target which seemed highly improbable at one point. The come-from-behind win over Scotland, coming under immense pressure, ensured that Ireland were still in the reckoning for a spot in the Super 12s.
“I think we were backing ourselves. We knew we had to come here today to win. It’s a lot of pressure, but I suppose that’s why you play the games it’s these kinds of moments. Me and Curtis had a good idea what we needed to do, who we need to score off to be able to chase the game.”
“I thought we played it quite well in the end and definitely benefited from the two of us having a bit of a period back together in the first game as well. So I thought we put together plans quite nicely and Curtis played incredible innings and managed to keep that rate going all the way to the end,” said Dockrell in the post-match press conference.
The key turning points in Ireland’s chase came in the 13th and 17th overs with left-arm spinner Mark Watt going for a combined 29 runs while Michael Leask gave away 11 runs. Fast bowler Josh Davey leaked six boundaries in his last two overs and leaked 32 runs overall while Brad Wheal’s final over went for 14 runs. Moreover, from overs 11 to 19, Ireland at least had one boundary which worked well in their favour.
“The two Scottish spinners bowled so well in the first game, we knew we had to be better, I suppose, and find ways to score well off of them. Myself and Curt are quite different in our game plan, but I thought he played brilliantly, more cross back than myself and play to our strengths to try to make sure we didn’t let that rate go too high at any point. I thought we did that relatively well and went a bit harder against the seam when it came up,” added Dockrell.
When the drinks break was taken, Ireland had new batters in Campher and Dockrell with 116 runs still needed in 63 deliveries. In their match-winning stand, Campher frequently targeted the short square dimensions of the stadium, as seven of his nine boundaries came from square of the wicket regions on both sides, with Dockrell supporting him well.
The duo also ran really hard between the wickets, running for completing 11 twos and six threes as Scotland began running out of steam. Campher also used the crease well, heaving, scooping, cutting and slicing for boundaries for his first T20I fifty coming at a strike-rate of 225 and led Ireland to their highest ever successful run-chase in T20 World Cups with an over to spare.
“He slopes well, has some brilliant reverses and wraps, something that I don’t do as much. I look to hit straight. So we talked about which bowler he’d go a little bit harder at, albeit we’re still trying to score no matter what off each ball.”
“It worked out nicely today we were able to do that off different bowlers. We spoke yesterday about this ground and those dimensions, so long and straight, but most of the time those fielders are a little wider and does give you gaps for twos and fours.”