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Ireland Put Best Foot Forward at Saxton Oval, Inflict 4-Wicket Win on West Indies

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Ireland Put Best Foot Forward at Saxton Oval, Inflict 4-Wicket Win on West Indies

February 17
09:37 2015

icc wcNew Delhi, Tuesday, February 17 – The excitement in the World Cup contest has been taken up once again by Ireland – a team that dismantled England four years ago by 3 wickets, chasing a total of 327 runs in 50 overs.

Once again the brilliant squad led by William Porterfield inflicted a thumping victory on the Caribbean ‘playing XI’ at Saxton Oval, Nelson. They once more chased the target of more than 300 runs when 25 balls remained to be bowled. The Irish team won the toss and chose to bowl first. The decision seemed not right to some of the cricket fans, keeping in mind the huge list of batsman in West Indies. But things started on a good note for the reason that the opener Dwayne Smith was out for 18 runs off 24 balls. West Indies got another jolt since Darren Bravo was run out for a duck given that Andy McBrine threw the ball towards the stump in next to no time, making the opponents not to consider them an underdog team in any way.

Marlon Samuels and destructive hitter Chris Gayle tried to stabilize wobbly innings of their team and played knocks of 21 runs, 4 x 1 & 6 x 1, and 36 runs, 4 x 3 and 6 x 1, respectively, before succumbing to George Dockrell in the 22nd over. Wicketkeeper batsman Denesh Ramdin failed to read a fantastic delivery by the same man and had to leave the crease post adding just a single in the team’s total. Wickets though fell in a short span of time best was to come from Lendl Simmons who struck an amazing 102 runs off 84 balls, comprising 9 boundaries and 5 biggies. He could have gone for accumulating more runs hadn’t Max Sorensen dismissed him at the right time, giving Ireland to heave a sigh of relief.

Darren Sammy’s 89-run knock, which included 9 fours and 4 sixes, kept building the pressure on the rivals. John Mooney brought his play to an end, enabling his teammates to believe that they still got the chance to bounce back in the game. Andre Russell remained not out at 27 runs, while West Indies skipper Jason Holder at a 0. 304 runs were set on the scoreboard for impish Ireland to chase. The men in green shirts exhibited superb spirit to win the match in view of the fact that the opener William Porterfield scored 23 off 43 balls prior throwing his wicket to Chris Gayle. Despite the fact that Paul Stirling fell 8 runs short to hit a ton, 9 boundaries and 3 sixes from him were adequate to let West Indies know they are here to change entire equation.

Rest of the job was done by Ed Joyce and Niall O’Brien as they correspondingly smashed 84 runs (4 x 10 & 6 x 2) and 79 runs off 60 balls (4 x 11), inspiring Ireland to a sensational World Cup triumph over West Indies and letting supporters jump in joy. Jerome Taylor later on made Joyce, Andy Balbirnie (9 runs off 9 balls; together with a couple of boundaries) and Gary Wilson (1 run off 6 balls) to depart. However, by this time Ireland weren’t too far from the target. John Mooney who played 6-run knock and unbeaten O’Brien enabled confident Irish to taste victory. In 45.5 overs, Ireland scored 307 runs for the loss of 6 wickets. The match in all probability threw up even more wonderful theatre in the cricket carnival after a contest between India and Pakistan since it is not easy for a squad to keep on giving a bump to a different opponent who has been playing in the biggest tournament from past several decades.

It would be interesting to see how other participating squads perform against Ireland because it is not at all going to be easy for them to be on the winning side by scoring a feeble total. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that a few unanticipated entries can be seen in the second round as the points earned by each team of Pool B might change post facing defeat at the hands of Ireland. On Tuesday, February 17, only one match will be played at University Oval, Dunedin, wherein the host New Zealand face Scotland.

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