Hamilton (New Zealand): MS Dhoni-led Team India continued its victory march outplaying Ireland to seal fifth win in a row in the World Cup Pool B match in Hamilton on Tuesday.
Here is how the action unfolded.
Chasing 260, Shikhar Dhawan had his share of troubles but was lucky to survive twice. Once John Mooney could not catch him on his own bowling and then Porterfield could not hold on to what could have been a stunning catch at backward point.
From thereon though, Dhawan smashed the Ireland bowling attack across the field, without much trouble. Rohit Sharma, meanwhile, looked in fine touch as he cashed in on all the chances to score freely. India were 73/0 after the end of 10 overs.
Toying with the Ireland attack, the Indian opening pair continued their run-march and brought up team's hundred and their individual fifties in quick time. While Dhawan was a bit edgy at the start, once he settled down, he was quick enough to overtake Rohit Sharma in run-making.
The juggernaut from the Indian batsmen made the fans present at the Seddon Park really happy.
However, Ireland tried to play spoilsport as they dismissed Rohit Sharma after he got out off Thompson's bowling. The right hander dragged the ball onto his stumps after scoring 64.
Dhawan, who already had a World Cup ton, added another hundred to his World Cup tally after he brought up his hundred in 84 balls against Ireland. The left-hander smashed 11 fours and 5 sixes before he got out.
Dhawan's dismissal brought Ajinkya Rahane to the middle. He and Virat Kohli made sure India did not lose any more wickets and cross the line with ease. The pair put up 70- run partnership in 55 balls.
The win made MS Dhoni India's most successful World Cup captain with nine wins in a row.
— STAR Sports (@StarSportsIndia) March 10, 2015
Earlier, middle-order batsman Niall O'Brien hit a solid 75 while skipper William Porterfield made 67 on a batting-friendly pitch at Seddon Park. Opener Peter Stirling chipped in with 42.
India paceman Mohammad Shami finished with 3-41 while spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took 2-38 in his 10 economical overs.
Ireland enjoyed bright start as skipper William Porterfield and Paul Stirling made Indian bowlers toil on a batting friendly wicket. The duo was not only solid but also quick in the run making as Ireland crossed 80-run mark in no time.
Just when the partnership looked good to cross hundred without no loss, R Ashwin dismissed Stirling on the final ball of the 15th over. Suresh Raina then joined the part as he removed Ed Joyce.
Porterfield though, stayed put and frustrated the Indian bowling attack. However, Mohit Sharma, who bowled the 31st over, dismissed him after the left-hander had scored 67 runs.
Niall O'Brien and Andy Balbirnie steadied the Ireland innings after a mid-innings tumble. The pair thwarted the Indian attack untill Ravichandran Ashwin struck again to dismiss Balbirnie. His wicket brought India two more wickets in quick succession.
First Mohammed Shami cut short Kevin O'Brien's stay in the middle and then Jadeja struck to remove Wilson. Rahane took a fine diving catch at fine-leg.
Ireland then lost three more wickets in space of five runs. The big blow though was that of Niall O'Brien. The left-hander got out off Shami's bowling after scoring 75 runs.
Ireland eventually managed to score 259 runs, at least 20-30 run less from what they could have achieved after being 206 for 3 at one position. Mohammed Shami scalped 3 wickets while Raina, Mohit, Yadav and Jadeja got a wicket each. However, the pick of the bowlers was R Ashwin who dismissed 2 Ireland batsmen giving away only 38 runs in his 10 overs.
India, who have already qualified for the quarterfinals after four wins in as many matches, kept the same team which beat the West Indies in Perth last week.
Ireland, who need one win from their last two matches to earn a berth in the next round, made one change from the side which defeated Zimbabwe at Hobart with seamer Stuart Thompson replacing spinner Andy McBrine .
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohit Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav.
Ireland: William Porterfield (capt), Andrew Balbirnie, Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, John Mooney, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Gary Wilson....