India continue to dominate in ICC tournaments, today’s victory being the 9th consecutive World Cup match win! Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma played with flair and panache to compose brilliant knocks and take India to a thumping victory by eight wickets. India now have won nine consecutive games under MS Dhoni’s leadership in World Cups. In terms of successive victories in World Cups, Dhoni is now joint second with Clive Lloyd.
It was Dhawan and Rohit, who tore apart a modest Ireland attack and collected runs with utmost ease. Dhawan had his fair share of luck, but he made them pay by essaying a ton. Once Dhawan got used to the lack of pace from Ireland’s slew of medium pacers, he took his game to an elevated plane. He took a heavy toll off Stuart Thompson’s wayward bowling by clouting him for a four and a six. When George Dockrell came into the attack, he threaded through the gaps and thumped three more fours.
Once Dhawan reached his fifty, he used his feet to loft Stirling for a six and then used the depth of the crease to play the slog sweep in the same over. He also showcased the West Indian flair by shuffling across to pull Kevin O’Brien for a six. At the other end of the spectrum, Rohit, with his glorious artwork of batsmanship, played a sumptuous on-drive off Alex Cusack and then lofted Mooney over mid-off for a six. He also reached his fifty in style by playing an inside-out stroke off Stirling for yet another six. Eventually, Thompson took the wickets of Rohit and Dhawan, but by then, the damage was done. In fact, the 174-run stand for the first wicket turned out to be India’s highest partnership for the opening wicket in World Cups.
Once Rohit and Dhawan were dismissed, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane took India to a convincing win. Earlier, despite Niall O’Brien’s sterling knock, Ireland lost wickets in clusters to get bowled out for 259. After Ireland lost the wickets of Stirling and Ed Joyce in quick succession, it was Niall O’Brien, who took on the gauntlet of facing up to India’s spinners, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, and cracked some wonderful shots. Porterfield too amassed a fifty, but once Niall O’Brien was out, Ireland lost their way.
For India, Ashwin was yet again in great form as he flummoxed the batsmen with flight and guile and take two wickets. After suffering at the hands of Ireland’s openers, Stirling and Porterfield, Mohammed Shami came back well to snare three wickets. The Irish captain along with Stirling accumulated 89 runs for the first wicket before Stirling fell to Ashwin.
Shortly after Ed Joyce was castled by Raina. Potterfield and Niall O’brien tried to resurrect the innings but after Mohit Sharma managed to induce a leading edge from from Potterfield and after no Irish batsman was able to counter the discipline of Indian bowler and Ireland was bundled out for 259 in 49 overs.
With this victory, India have won all their five matches till now and the only team in this edition of World Cup, UNBEATEN!
Shikhar dhawan was given man of the match for his brilliant hundred.
Ireland 259 for 10 in 49 overs
India 260 for 2 in 36.5 overs