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More chances needed to bridge the gap with top teams, says Irish Andrew Balbirnie | Cricket News

MELBOURNE: Captain of Ireland Andrew Balbirnie said his team needed regular opportunities against top teams to improve after finishing their World Cup T20 campaign with a defeat to New Zealand in Adelaide on Friday.
Qualifiers Ireland sent shockwaves as they defeated tournament favorites England in a rain-stricken Super 12 match, but were unable to secure another win in Group 1, finishing with just three points from five games.
Paceman Josh Little claimed a hat-trick on Friday, but it wasn’t enough to end a 35-run defeat to New Zealand at the . to prevent Adelaide Oval.
“There are a few moments in the last games where you thought what if, but at the same time we are still a little bit removed from these top teams,” said Balbirnie in his assessment of their performance in the tournament.
“We have to keep improving and play regular cricket against them so that we can improve and expand our squad as much as possible.
“We have guys ready to come in whenever they get the chance.”
“At the beginning of the tournament I said it would be a bonus to go to the Super 12s. That’s our goal. It will be considered successful.
“We played pretty good cricket and it’s just a shame we weren’t able to create something really special.”
It was another improvement for the side, which failed to make it to the Super 12 last year.
Balbirnie said hard work and a change of mindset helped them grow better, a trend they want to continue.
“We’re definitely not the finished article, but we’re definitely a better team than we were 12 months ago, and that’s all you can ask for,” the opener said.
“Hopefully in a month we will be even better than we are now.”

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