Friday, March 11, 2011

World Cup 2011 : West Indies vs Ireland

West Indies met giant killers Ireland at Mohali today, in what was a do or die for both the teams. Ireland won the toss, & keeping in mind their brilliant run chase victory against the England, they chose to field. For the Windies, mercurial Gayle was out with an injury & veteran Chanderpaul opened the innings with Devon Smith. Both were cautious at the beginning to ensure that there are no collapses, & runs came in a trickle. The opening pair, put up 89 valuable runs, before Chanderpaul was caught by Porterfield off Kevin O'Brien, for a well made 35. Next man Darren Bravo failed to add to the total, & was out in the same over for a duck, leaving the score at 89 for 2. Sarvan, in next, tried to build with Smith & took the score to 130, before getting out in the 32nd over. It looked like another Windies collapse, as runs were hard to come by & wickets were falling. Big man Pollard came in next & batting power play was taken. This paid off for the Windies, as Pollard smashed the Irish attack all over the park, as he does, & along with Smith at the other end also getting a momentum, 57 runs came in the power play. Suddenly the score was looking good & Pollard in ominous form. However, Smith fell against the run of play, just after getting his maiden hundred, with the score at 218 for 4 in the 43rd over. The Windies looked poised for a huge total, but just after Smith, Captain Sammy & then keeper Thomas too fell in quick succession & suddenly the innings started to stutter. Pollard looked the only hope, as the score read 248 for 6 at the end of 47 overs. 48th over was huge, as Pollard launched into Kevin O'Brien hitting two sixes & a four, as the over yielded 20 runs. Pollard had marched into his 90s, looking in murderous form. But in the very next over from Mooney, Pollard holed out at long off for an outstanding 94 off just 55 deliveries, inclusive of 5 massive sixes. Russell, in his debut was bowled the very next delivery, & again the Windies innings stuttered, with score at 267 for 8. What looked good for a total in excess of 300, finally ended at 275, all out. 4 wickets had fallen in the last two overs, including that of Pollard which restricted the innings.
For Ireland Kevin though expensive, picked up 4 wickets for 71 runs & Mooney got 2. The Windies innings revolved around Devon Smith with 107 from 133 balls, Keiron Pollard with 94 magnificent runs off just 55 balls & old warhorse Chanderpaul with patient 35 off 62 balls up the order.

The Ireland run chase got into trouble early on as Stirling was plucked by Sammy off Benn, with total reading 6 for 1 in the 2nd over. However, Captain Porterfield & Joyce steadied the innings & at the end of 10 overs, the score read, 40 for 1, as Ireland cautiously approached their run chase. However Porterfield was out soon in the 12th over, with the score at 42 for 2. Neil O'Brien was out for 25, as the score read 86 for 3. 100 runs for the innings came in the 24th over, as Joyce steadied the ship with Wilson at the other end. At drinks it was 148 for 3 in 36 overs, a good launching pad for the Irish to overhaul the Windies target. However, Joyce fell for a very well complied 84, as the score read 177 for 4 in the 38th over. Ireland still needed another 99 runs from 75 deliveries with 6 wickets in hand & Kevin walking in. However, KOB could not light up the stadium, as he fell prey to a Sammy delivery & Pollard took a marvellous catch.....187 for 5, as Cusack walked in. It was now 85 runs to get in 60 deliveries, with 5 wickets in hand. Sammy got the well set Wilson LBW in the 42nd over, as referral confirmed the decision. The score 199 for 6, & the asking rate at 9.62. Benn claimed Cusack in the next over, as Thomas behind fumbled but in the end made a smart stumping. 200 runs came on board in the 43rd over, as the target was now 75 runs from 42 deliveries. However, the resistance kept depleting, as Botha got run out by Sammy. Finally it was all over in the 49th over, as Benn picked up his 4th wicket bowling out Dockrell, & the Irish challenge ended at 231 runs all out. The Irish camp would be sore about the decision which sent back a set Wilson, though it was going to be an uphill task even then. The Windies had registered a sound victory with 44 runs, even in the absence of Chris Gayle & are now looking good to reach the quarterfinals.

Man of the Match : Keiron Pollard for his superb 94 runs with the bat.