#CWC15: Ireland topple West Indies in what some call a shock

MATCH 5: Ireland proved they were no minnows when they beat West Indies by four wickets with 25 balls to spare in the first ‘giant killing’ of the Cricket World Cup.

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For many however, this result was no shock. Ireland come to the World Cup brimming with confidence, a well drilled outfit and with quality players. The West Indies have been a shambles of late.

“It’s always a fantastic feeling to win a match like this and it really sets us up for the tournament now,” enthused Ireland’s captain Will Porterfield. “The belief within the squad has been growing for a long time now and we feel we can win many more games in this competition.

“We knew 300 was about par on this pitch and we thought it was well within our grasp,” he added. “The way we set the platform was fantastic and I am proud of the way we pushed on.”

John Mooney and Niall O’Brien leave the field with victory assured

Ireland chased down 305 to rock the West Indies, whose captain Jason Holder was stunned after the game: “That was a tough loss, obviously putting 300 runs on the board we backed ourselves to defend it but that didn’t happen.

“Lendl Simmons and Darren Sammy were brilliant for us with the bat but unfortunately we didn’t do it with the ball. We are leaking too many boundaries at the moment and we really need to tighten up.”

And the West Indies relied heavily on Simmons and Sammy as they recovered from a poor start with the bat after Ireland had won the toss.

Chris Gayle and Dwayne Smith started uncharacteristically quietly, before Smith holed out to long-off to give Kevin O’Brien the opening wicket. Darren Bravo was run out without facing a ball after Andy McBrine threw down the stumps from point. West Indies were 31 for two after 8 overs.

Gayle knew his importance in the greater scheme of the innings and trudged along. He scored 36 from 65 balls, hitting 3 fours and a six before losing his patience against the left-arm spin of George Dockrell and finding Kevin O’Brien’s hands instead of the leg-side boundary.

Dockrell had Marlon Samuels lbw two balls later and the spinner repeated the dismissal in his next over to see the back of Denesh Ramdin. West Indies were imploding in the face of an intense Irish performance and really needed a partnership to give them something to bowl at.

Sammy and Simmons used their heads before accelerating later on after the scoreboard had passed 200. The 43rd over, bowled by Kevin O’Brien, was taken for 22. Sammy pulled Mooney for six to get to 89 and pass his previous highest One-Day International score.

Sammy, aiming for another maximum, lobbed Mooney to Dockrell on the fence, but the sixth wicket partnership of 154 equalled the West Indian record.

Simmons walloped a full toss in the final over to reach his hundred in just 83 balls. His second fifty had been in a blistering 23 deliveries.

Some would have felt that by allowing West Indies to escape their clutches to post 304 for seven that Ireland had seen their chance disappear. Not so the Irish team who seemed doubly determined.

William Porterfield (23) and Paul Stirling added a quick-fire 71 for the opening wicket. Stirling was hit on the head by a short ball from Jerome Taylor, looked the paceman in the eyes and hooked the next ball for six. It was that kind of day.

The 24-year-old right-hander hit 9 fours and 3 sixes in his 92, which had lifted Ireland to 177 for two when he was caught behind off the bowling of Samuels.

Ed Joyce and Niall O’Brien added 96 for the third wicket in 11.3 overs before the former found a catcher in the deep when on 84.

Three further wickets fell, but Niall O’Brien saw the job through. His unbeaten 79 included 11 fours and came from only 60 balls.

This Ireland side are no minnows and are more than a banana skin. They are at the World Cup to win matches and will be looking for more scalps as the tournament progresses.

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James Buttler

James has been working as a journalist and broadcaster in cricket since 2006 and was an avid fan for many years before that.
As the editor of World Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
He is also the presenter of the Cricket Badger Radio Show on Radio Yorkshire every Tuesday evening between 7-9pm UK time.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author, a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications and a complete cricket badger!

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