Mohali, March 11: The West Indies have furthered their chances of securing a quarter-final berth after quashing Ireland by 44 runs in their World Cup fixture at Mohali. Chasing the Windies competitive total of 275 all out, the Irish had given themsleves a fair chance to win with Ed Joyer (84) and Gary Wilson (61) putting on a spirited 91-run stand. At one stage, Ireland required 99 off 78 balls. But then the Shamrocks' middle and latter order collapsed in a heap to some tight Windies' bowling. As was expected, the Irish struggled against the spin of Suleiman Benn who took 4/53..
The Irish innings got off to a dramatic start. In the second over, Paul Stirling struck off-spinner Suleiman Benn for a four. But just two balls later, he was caught on the off-side for 5 after inside edging the ball onto his pads. Then Ed Joyce settled in by smacking Been for two consecutive boundaries to round off the over.
Joyce was clearly on a roll, knocking a four off Kemar Roach in the 3rd over and another boundary off Benn in the fourth before William Porterfield clobbered Roach for two more fours in the fifth. Several quiet overs followed till in the 10th over, Ramnaresh Sarwan dropped a chance off Porterfield.
Meanwhile, Darren Sammy and Andre Russell had managed to pull back the scoring rate. Then in the 12th over, Porterfield was caught off Sammy at mid-on. He was on his way for 12 and Ireland were 42/2 in 12 overs. The next man to take guard - Niall O'Brien - swung the momentum back Ireland's way with some brisk batting.
However, Benn bowled him at the end of the 21st over and Ireland were at a precarious 86/3. In the 24th over, Joyce ran three off Roach to bring up Ireland's 100 and in the next over took a single off Benn to notch up his 50. Then he and Gary Wilson celebrated by each knocking a four off Kieron Pollard in the 26th over.
Joyce came in for some luck in the 29th over when he gave a simple return catch to Nikita Miller which the spinner managed to drop. Then in the 34th over,the batsman ran a single off the same bowler and completed the over witrh a huge six over mid wicket to take Ireland past 150.
The batsmen began to show a little more urgency in getting runs as the asking rate was up to 7.93. In the 36th over, Wilson reverse swept Miller for two consecutive fours. Ireland now required 99 runs off 78 balls. Then after bowling two dot balls to Joyce, Andre Russell cleaned up the batsman for 84 off 106 balls.
Wilson took a single off Pollard in the 39th over to bring up his 50. Shortly afterward, Darren Sammy got the all-important wicket of Kevin O'Brien when he had him brilliantly caught by Pollard at long off. Ireland were 187/5 in 39.4 overs at that stage.
Whatever hopes Ireland had of racing to a victory were effectively quashed with a wicket coming off the 42nd, 43rd and 44th over. First Sammy trapped Wilson in front for 61 balls, then Alex Cusack was stumped off Benn and finally Botha was run out courtesy a direct throw from Sammy. Ireland were 203/8 at the end of the 44th over, still requiring 73 runs of 36 balls.
Then in the 46th over, Roach bowled Mooney for 6 and Ireland ha reached the bottom of the barrel. George Dockrell tried to hold out hope by swatting a few fours, but it was too little too late. Fitfully, Benn performed the closing rites on Ireland by bowling Dockrell for 19 off 19.