India seal top spot with convincing win over Ireland

India 260-2 (Dhawan 100, Rohit 64) beat Ireland 259 (N. O’Brien 71, Porterfield 67, Shami 3-41) by 8 wickets

India sealed the top spot in their group as they convincingly beat Ireland by 8 wickets and maintained their perfect record of bowling out oppositions in the World Cup.

The Irish were certainly enjoying their cricket heading into this game and needed two points from as many games to book a place in the quarterfinals.

They made a strong start to their innings as William Porterfield and Paul Stirling shared an opening stand of 89.  An explosive partnership looked to have set the platform for a total of more than 300.

MS Dhoni turned his attention to spin in the 10th over after the Indian seamers were proving to be costly and have no immediate imapact on the game.

Ravi Ashwin then got the breakthrough as Stirling tried to chip him over cover only to pick out Ajinkya Rahane.

Fresh from a century against Zimbabwe, Ed Joyce was then bowled by Suresh Raina after attempting a forceful back-foot shot.

Porterfield then fell for 67 as he picked out Umesh Yadav at long on off Mohit Sharma’s slower ball to add further pressure on Niall O’Brien.

O’Brien played a great hand with a fluent 71 but it was the spell between Raina and Ashwin that turned the game having conceded 78 runs in 20 overs, picking up three crucial wickets.

Ireland then lost their last seven wickets for 53 runs as India pulled the game back and restrict them to 259, the highest score by any team against India in the tournament.

In reply, Shikhar Dhawan capitalised on being dropped on 5 and 10 by notching his second century of the World Cup. He is now only behind Kumar Sangakkara for most runs scored at the tournament.

An opening stand of 174 between Dhawan and Rohit Sharma set the foundation for India as they chased down their target with ease.

Ireland now play Pakistan on Sunday in one of the most anticipated games of the group stage knowing that a win will seal qualification.

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