What can club cricket teams learn from the story of Ireland's victory over Pakistan?
The proud minnows against the apathetic giant perhaps?
"They just wanted it more" the commentators will no doubt say.
Many will compare the passion of the two sides. For me this, Irish win is about something a lot more down to earth.
They were better prepared.
Yes, they had their share of luck in winning the toss and all their plans coming together, but look at the other factors:
- The Irish bowlers knew what they needed to do, stuck to the plan and set up a game situation where Pakistan could collapse.
- They didn't get over excited. When Pakistan were 72-6 Ireland may have decided this was their day and lost direction. Instead they stuck doggedly to the plan of pitching the ball up on or around off stump with calm composure.
- They kept calm under pressure. Even when early wickets and rain made life difficult for the Irish batsmen they kept their focus on batting towards the target.
- The Irish fitness and training methods were on a par with Pakistan's, perhaps better in some ways. Bob Woolmer is noted for his frustration at Pakistan's approach to practice.
It certainly wasn't a fluke. Ireland has played well in three games now (the Zimbabwe tie and the South Africa warm up match) and look set to give any side a fight.
Any cricket team can do this.
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