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Ireland shock West Indies

Ireland pulled off the first major upset of the World Cup stunning the West Indies by four wickets in their Group B game at the Saxton Oval, in Nelson, New Zealand on Monday.

 

An enterprising 92 from Paul Stirling spurred the Irish to victory in chase of the Windies’ 304-7 – a win that gave the reminiscences of Ireland’s famous three-wicket victory over England in the 2011 World Cup where Kevin O’Brien had smashed World Cup’s fastest century – in 50 balls.

 

 

It was one of the most clinical display for Ireland who have pulled off big shocks in world cricket as they reached 307-5 25 balls to spare.  

 

From a precarious position of 87-5, Lendl Simmons and Darren Sammy lifted the Windies beyond 300-run mark but Ireland were never uncomfortable in their chase when skipper William Porterfield (23) and Stirling began with a 71-run opening wicket partnership.

 

Stirling added another 106 runs with former England batsman Ed Joyce to put Ireland on the top before losing his wicket in the 28th over. Stirling’s 84-ball innings included nine boundaries and three sixes. The Windies might have though getting rid of the Ireland opener was a point of their comeback but it was not happen.

 

Joyce put Ireland close to victory sharing 96 runs for the fourth wicket with Niall O’Brien before departing for a quick fire 84 off 64. He hit 10 fours and two sixes. Ireland did lose quick wickets of Andy Balbirine (nine), Gary Wilson (one) and Kevin O’Brien (naught) but Niall O’Brien was already set on the crease making sure they won the game with an ease.

 

It was Ireland’s first win over the West Indies in six official matches and the first victory at this World Cup achieved by a team batting second. The 12th-ranked Irish paid scant regard to the high-profile West Indians and enhanced their own reputation as giant-killers after beating other top-tier nations England and Pakistan in the previous two World Cups.

 

Against a lowly ranked Ireland team, big hitting Chris Gayle failed to fire for the Windies losing his wicket for 36 off 65 before falling prey to George Dockrell. Gayle hit three boundaries and a six. Marlon Samuels made 21 off 41.

 

Simmons and Sammy rebuilt the Windies innings with a 154-run stand for the sixth wicket. A stand that could have been an important one had it take the Caribbean to the winning end. Sammy was out for 89 off 67 hitting nine boundaries and fours sixes.

 

Simmon continued to play his shots and together with Andre Russell stitched a 61-run partnership pushing the total past 300. Simmon slammed tournament’s fifth century making 102 off 84 striking nine boundaries and five sixes.

 

Dockrell finished with the figures of 3-50 from 10 overs. For West Indies, Jermoe Taylor had picked up 3-71 from 8.5 overs.

 

Ireland’s biggest upset in World Cup

2007 — Ireland beat Pakistan by three wkts (D/L method)

2011 World Cup — Ireland beat England by three wkts

2015 World Cup — Ireland beat the West Indies by four wkts

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