If it was (gamesmanship), I would have slowed it down even more: IRE captain Andrew Balbirnie on Jos Buttler’s comments after match

England were shocked by Ireland in their T20 World Cup encounter on Wednesday when they lost to their close neighbours by 5 runs due to the Duckworth Lewis method (DLS).

Chasing a target of 157, England were hampered by an excellent bowling performance by the Irish and were tottering at 86 for 5 in 13.1 overs. Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone in the middle with England needing 53 more off 33 balls when rain played spoilsport again. Despite the batters’ efforts, England looked to be lagging behind the DLS par score.

England captain Jos Buttler took a dig at Ireland over their slow over rate in the post match press conference saying, “If we were ahead, they wouldn’t have been slowing the game down.” Buttler, however, admitted that England had already lost the game before that point and they should take the responsibility of the loss themselves.

“Yeah, it’s certainly something, whether it’s gamesmanship. I knew the rain was coming and could slow the game up. I think we had lost the game before that point. As I mentioned, we had all the things we needed in our favour. If we were ahead, they wouldn’t have been slowing the game down. So I think we should take responsibility ourselves, and we should never let it get to that kind of situation,” he said.

Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie contradicted Buttler’s statement saying, “No, it wasn’t. Our lads are just really slow on the pitch. It was a huge ground. It wasn’t gamesmanship. If it was, I would have slowed it down even more and we maybe would have been 5 or 6 overs down. Certainly I was trying my best to get out through the overs quick because I didn’t want to rely on the weather.”

England next play Australia on Friday while Ireland take on Afghanistan on the same day.

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