Ireland blown away by Roach and Rampaul
The West Indies denied Ireland any chance of another World Cup shock after they bowled the Irish out for just 68 runs to seal a comprehensive 70 run victory in Guyana.
Having been set a total of 139 for victory Kemar Roach and Ravi Rampaul blow away Ireland’s top order leaving the Irish 11-3 before a brief ran shower delayed the game for 30 minutes.
Having suffered two batting collapses during their two warm up games Ireland’s woes continued as they were bowled out for just ** to hand the West Indies a easy victory.
Irish teenager George Dockrell picked up three wickets as Ireland gave themselves every chance of creating another World Cup upset by restricting the West Indies to 138-9.
Having won the toss the West Indies got off to a quiet start thanks to the Irish bowlers who took advantage of the slow turning wicket which suited the strengths of the associate country.
With Chris Gayle ruled out because of a sore back Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Andre Fletcher opened the batting for the West Indies and the pair initially struggled to score on a wicket which favoured the Irish bowlers.
The pair got off to a cautious start scoring just 9 runs from the first two overs before Chanderpaul broke through hitting consecutive boundaries off the bowling of Boyd Rankin.
After conceding back to back boundaries Boyd remained calm and hit back with a slightly slower delivery which cramped Chanderpaul (14) for space in the crease and he top edged the ball to Gary Wilson at cover point to leave the West Indies 19-1.
With Ireland celebrating the break through Dwayne Bravo joined Fletcher at the crease but the stand in skipper’s innings only lasted 10 balls before his cameo off 18 was ended.
Having already hit two massive sixes Bravo tried another big shot off the bowling of Alex Cusack but the ball held up on the slow wicket and after juggling the ball on his elbow, leg and belly Cusack took the catch to leave the West Indies 43-2.
With two wickets already down Fletcher, and new partner Ramnaresh Sarwan relieved the pressure which was growing with a partnership of 34 before the Irish hit back one again.
17 year Dockrell was brought into the attack and the spinner struck in his second over to remove Fletcher (19) and Sarwan (24) in the space of three balls to reduce the hosts to 77-4.
With the runs drying up and the pressure mounting Ireland struck again as Rankin dismissed Denesh Ramdin (1) before Dockrell picked up his third wicket of an unbelievable spell to remove Narsingh Deonarine (10).
With 6 wickets gone and only 93 runs on the board Kieron Pollard finally came to the crease with only four overs remaining. After enjoying a successful IPL tournament with the Mumbai Indians the pressure was now on Pollard to delivery.
With all eyes on Pollard, Darren Sammy turned up the heat on the Irish by dispatching Trent Johnston for two big sixes as the pressure was lifted in the 17th over.
The Irish though bounced back once again to show why they are regarded as the best associate country in international cricket. Medium pacer Andre Botha struck back to take the wickets of Pollard (8) and Sammy (30) in the space of three delivers to reduce the West Indies to 127-8.
Cusack was given the responsibility of bowling the final 6 balls and he produced a perfect over by conceding just 8 runs as the Irish gave themselves every chance of creating another World Cup upset.
Despite restricting the West Indies to a total of 138 the Irish still had a tricky run chase to undertake and they got off to the worst possible start losing three early wickets as the West Indies fast bowlers tore through Ireland’s top order.
Having hit the first ball of the game for a boundary, skipper William Porterfield was the first player dismissed when he edged Kemar Roach behind from just the second delivery of the innings.
Paul Stirling (0) and Niall O’Brien (4) followed in the next over after Ravi Rampaul struck twice in the space of 3 balls to put the West Indies in complete control.
With Roach and Rampaul in such rampant form the Irish were saved from any further carnage by a rain shower which forced the players off the field and the covers on.
The game was delayed for about 30 minutes but it didn’t change Ireland’s fortunes as the fourth wicket of the innings soon fell once play had resumed.
Alex Cusack became the fourth Irish player dismissed and the third victim of Rampul who struck 7 balls after the restart to leave Ireland 16-4.
With the outcome of the game already virtually decided Kevin O’Brien and Gary Wilson held the West Indies at bay for almost 5 overs until Darren Sammy struck to remove O’Brien (9) reducing Ireland to 39-5.
The carnage continued as Irelands batting woes depend after Trent Johnston (5) Wilson (17) and Mooney John (1) all departed cheaply to leave the Irish 61-8.
Sammy picked up his second wicket of the night when Boyd Rankin was caught by Ramdin to leave the West Indies on the verge of victory which was completed by Sammy when George Dickrell was caught by Ramdin.