Chawla treble leaves Ireland on backfoot

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Belfast:Teenage leg-spinner Piyush Chawla took three for 29 as India bowled out Ireland for 193 in the one-day international at Stormont here in the opening match of their United Kingdom tour.

Chawla's figures, in his second match at this level, topped the three for 37 he took on debut against Bangladesh in Dhaka in May.

Ireland were indebted to wicket-keeper Niall O'Brien's 52 and his stand of 48 with skipper Trent Johnston (34) that revived the innings after the hosts had slumped to 121 for six.

Ireland, who produced the shock result of the World Cup when beating Pakistan by three wickets and advancing into the second round - something India were unable to do after defeats by Bangladesh and Sri Lanka - were sent into bat by India captain Rahul Dravid.

Ireland, with just six survivors from their team in the Caribbean, lost a wicket in the fifth over when Shantakumaran Sreesanth induced an edged drive from a flat-footed Kenny Carroll and wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik, playing in place of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, held a diving catch.

Sreesanth with his fifth ball back after an opening spell of one for 14 in four overs, had Dominick Joyce, younger brother of England batsman Ed, on 18, fending outside off-stump, edging to second slip where Sourav Ganguly took a sharp catch with the ball almost behind him.

Ireland were struggling against the swinging ball and when William Porterfield was bowled by experienced medium-pacer Agit Agarkar they were 56 for three in the 17th over.

Chawla then got in on the act, Gary Wilson bowled for 13 as he played across the line

The 18-year-old, the successor to Anil Kumble, now retired from one-day internationals, had his second wicket when Kevin O'Brien top-edged a sweep to Rudra Pratap Singh and Ireland were five down without a hundred on the board.

When Australian-born captain Johnston came to the crease, Ireland had slumped to 111 for six after Chawla had Andrew White caught behind.

Johnston though defiantly pulled Sreesanth for Ireland's first six, in the 41st over.

Meanwhile Niall O'Brien, completed a 78-ball fifty by driving left-arm quick Singh for his fourth four. But next ball the left-hander got a leading edge and gave a catch to debutant Rohit Sharma.

Johnston though thumped Sreesanth for six over long-on to take Ireland within sight of 200 before holing out to give the paceman his third wicket.

Roger Whelan was stumped off the last ball of the innings, intending a slog against Sachin Tendulkar.

Ireland were without several players involved at the World Cup, through a combination of retirement, injury and unavailability with batsman Eoin Morgan controversially opting to play for English county Middlesex instead.

This was India's first match of a tour that features three Tests and seven one-day internationals against England starting in July.

Brief Scores:

Ireland 193 all out in 50 overs (N O'Brien 52, Johnston 34; Chawla 3 for 29, Sreesanth 3 for 50, R P Singh 2 for 36) Vs India (yet to bat).


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