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11-Mar-2011 12:32:00 GMT
West Indies v Ireland, Group B, World Cup 2011, Mohali

Smith, Pollard Powers West Indies Crush Ireland by 44 runs

Mohali: West Indies staved off Ireland's spirited challenge for a 44-run win in a Group B match to inch closer to the quarter-finals of the World Cup on Friday.

Ed Joyce (84) and Gary Wilson (61) fought bravely but Ireland could manage only 231 before losing all their wickets in 49 overs to fall well short of West Indies' total of 275.

Wilson will consider himself very unlucky after being dismissed under controversial circumstances and the UDRS debate will rage on.

Sammy led from the front with the ball and kept it very tight in the initial overs delivering three maiden overs on the trot. Ireland will take a lot of pride having been in the game for a long time while West Indies continue to improve with another strong win.

Earlier, opener Devon Smith hit a maiden one-day century and Kieron Pollard smacked 94 off just 55 balls as West Indies posted 275 all out against Ireland in the World Cup on Friday.

Smith hit a 133-ball 107 and Pollard belted eight fours and five sixes to frustrate the Irish who won the toss and put the Caribbean side in to bat on an easy-paced track at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium.

Smith also shared 89 runs with Shivnarine Chanderpaul, opening the innings after Chris Gayle was ruled out on the morning of the match with an abdominal strain.

Kevin O'Brien, who struck World Cup's fastest hundred against England, showed he had the skills with the ball as well, grabbing a career-best 4-71.

A victory for West Indies will virtually assure them of a place in the quarterfinals while Ireland can keep their last-eight hopes alive if they manage to pull off an upset win.

Ireland fast bowlers kept things tight in the first 15 overs and did well in the last seven overs, taking the last five West Indies wickets for 53 runs.

The Irish had to wait till the 25th over to pick their first wicket when Chanderpaul (35) chipped O'Brien to short extra cover where captain William Porterfield took a low catch.

O'Brien struck again three balls later in the same over when he uprooted the middle-stump of Darren Bravo before the promising left-hander could even get off the mark.

Left-arm spinner George Dockrell, introduced into the attack late in the 30th over, had Ramnaresh Sarwan caught in the deep for 10 to reduce the West Indies to 130-3.

Ireland were left to rue missed chances against Pollard who was let off twice early in his innings with John Mooney messing up a simple run-out chance and Gary Wilson grassing a catch off Andre Botha.

Pollard punished the Irish, hitting O'Brien for two sixes in four balls to race to his third ODI half-century off 35 balls.

O'Brien returned to take two more wickets, again in the same over, to dismiss Smith and Darren Sammy while John Mooney sent back Pollard and Andre Russell in two balls.

Brief scores
West Indies
275 (Smith 107, Pollard 94, K O'Brien 4-71)
Ireland 231 (Joyce 84, Wilson 61, Benn 4-53, Sammy 3-31)
Results West Indies won by 44 runs
MOM Kieron Pollard (West Indies)
Points West Indies 2, Ireland 0

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