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Joyce thrilled with Irish progress
The Dublin born English batsman is cheering on his homeland.
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2007 18:39 GMT

Ed Joyce: Batting for England and cheering on Ireland [GALLO/GETTY]

English batsmen Ed Joyce has hailed Ireland's performances and has claimed he would relish the chance to play them in the Super Eight stage of the tournament.
 
The Dublin born Joyce made his one day international debut against Ireland in Belfast last year with his ambition to play at the highest level seeing him opt to play for his adopted home.
Now with Ireland's opening group match tie with Zimbabwe and their shock victory over Pakistan, Joyce's old side are on the brink of qualification to the next stage and a match against England.
 
"It was brilliant," said Joyce, who has now played 14 one-dayers for England but is yet to play a Test.

"My big hope for Ireland coming into this tournament was that they would do themselves justice," added the 28-year-old.

Joyce played for Ireland in the 2005 International Cricket Council (ICC) Trophy qualifying tournament and his two hundreds and two fifities in five innings were vital to his homeland making their World Cup debut in the Caribbean.
  
"It's hard, your first (major) tournament, you might get a bit over-awed by it. Trent Johnston, their captain has been brilliant.  He's told them what to expect and how to go about things.

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"They've done that really well. They'd never have thought they beat Pakistan, they knew they had a chance," added Joyce.
  
"They've beaten the West Indies in the last few years. The Zimbabwe game was the big one. Now they've got three points and are looking like going through to the Super Eights which is brilliant."
  
Should both England and Ireland make it through to the second stage they will start their Super Eight campaign against one another in Guyana on March 30.
  
"That was my first game," said Joyce, recalling his England debut.

"It was bit of a strange one for me.
  
"It will be an interesting contest if they (Ireland) get through to that stage. It will be a big day. A lot of Irish people have travelled over. I don't think they expected to get through to the Super Eights.
  
"They'll probably all have to take another month off (work) and get out there. It will be a good day.
  
"The English fans and Irish fans will get on pretty well. It will be quite a spectacle. My brother is in Jamaica watching them and he'd said they'd taken over Kingston and the Jamaicans love them which is typical of Irish fans."

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