Fri, Mar 30, 2007 - Page 22 News List

Ed Joyce gives new teammates inside info on Ireland side

HORSE'S MOUTH The batsman will be up against some familiar faces today as he tries to help England qualify for the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup

AFP , GEORGETOWN

England hope their in-form and informed batsman Ed Joyce plays a key role in upstaging Ireland in the World Cup Super Eights in Guyana today.

Joyce, who helped Ireland qualify for this World Cup before changing allegiance, has passed useful information on to England as to how to tame Ireland who have upset the calculations by reaching the second round.

"I have told team analyst Mark Garaway a little bit. I know 11 or 12 of the Irish guys pretty well but there are couple who have come in who I haven't seen very much of," Joyce said, who made his England debut against Ireland last year.

"I will be able to help out with a few tips but you have to keep things pretty basic against most teams whether you are playing against Australia or against Ireland so I think we're going to be keeping it pretty simple," he said.

"Ireland play as a unit very well, they field very well, they bowl as a unit and they've got a lot of medium-pacers and spinners who bowl very straight. They bat all the way down to number 10," said the 28-year-old Joyce.

Ireland silenced those who criticized minnows' participation in the event with a shock win over Pakistan in their Group D match.

They tied their match against Zimbabwe before losing to the West Indies -- but still qualified for the Super Eights.

Joyce hoped England would take the opportunity to peak for tougher matches.

"You want to peak at the right time in these tournaments and we'd like to think we are getting there after the first match," said Joyce, who hit 66 and 75 in England's wins over Canada and Kenya in the first round.

England, who qualified from Group C without carrying two points, know it's important to win today to press for a semi-final place.

After Ireland, England face Sri Lanka and Australia in Antigua in the space of four days, a task coach Duncan Fletcher had realized once the team qualified, the first time they cleared the first round since the 1996 World Cup.

"We've got to go and win four games starting with that first one. At previous World Cups we've stumbled early on in the tournament and it's important we've gone through to the Super Eights," Fletcher said.

Irish coach Adrian Birrell thought that Joyce passing on information about his players would not be of much significance.

"I am sure he [Joyce] knows all our players, but we also know their players and other players from all the countries. I think with a lot of video available on all teams it's not a huge advantage," Birrell said.

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