Cricket: We let England off the hook, says Ireland skipper

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, March 31, 2007 (AFP) – Ireland captain Trent Johnston admitted his team squandered their early advantage and allowed England to set a challenging total which proved decisive in their World Cup Super Eights defeat. “We are not here to shame in critics. We are showing that there are good players in Ireland, and the goal is to show people back home that we can play cricket and that’s something we have achieved,” said the captain. “We bowled well in the first 40 overs, but unfortunately it slipped away in the last ten which went for 90-odd runs,” said Johnston after his team’s 48-run defeat at the Guyana National Stadium here on Friday.

England, precariously placed at 172-4 after 40 overs, were boosted by Paul Collingwood’s 82-ball 90 which laid the groundwork for a decent 266-7.

Collingwood, who won the man-of-the-match award, hit eight fours and three sixes and added 81 for the fourth wicket with Andrew Flintoff (43) to revive England who were 23-2 at one stage after winning the toss and choosing to bat.

“We were outstanding on that wicket against the quality batsmen. Then we missed Boyd Rankin who left with cramps so we didn’t have a lot of options,” said the Irish skipper of his paceman who dismiss