India burried all the talks about Ireland pulling off another upset against the co-hosts as title contenders, India beat the Irish in a convincing fashion and exhibited some high quality batting and bowling performance. Yuvraj Singh was the star for India, first he picked up a five-for and then went on to score another half-ton of his ODI career.

Yuvraj produced an extraordinary all-round show as India really toiled hard in order to pull-off a five-wicket win over a energetic Ireland side in a group B meet of the cricket World Cup.

View full scorecard: India vs Ireland

Yuvraj became the first player in the history of World Cup to take five wickets and score a half century (5/31 in 10 overs and 50 not out) as India huffed and puffed on their way to a mediocre victory target of 208 in 46 overs.

After curbing Ireland to a modest 207, courtesy his five-for, the southpaw batted with sagacity on a slow track for his half century as it came in 75 balls and had only three fours in it. India now have five points from three matches having notched up their second win.

Put into bat after Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss, Ireland lost two early wickets before rival captain William Porterfield capitalized on an early let off to rescue his team.

But Yuvraj triggered a collapse that saw Ireland lose their last eight wickets for 85 runs. The giant-killers, who stunned England in their last match at the same venue, tried to make a match of it, but India maintained their poise to log full points from the tie.

When India batted, Yuvraj walked in after the hosts lost the important wicket of Sachin Tendulkar, but the left-hander was soon left to rue as a mix-up between him and Virat Kohli led to the latter's dismissal.

When Dhoni joined Yuvraj at the halfway stage, India required another 108 runs for victory, and Ireland seemed all pumped up, sensing another upset.

But such thoughts were soon put to rest as the two experienced campaigners added 67 runs off 99 balls for the fifth wicket to put India on course. The duo didn't take any undue risk as the asking rate was always under control and the strip didn't allow free-flowing strokeplay.

Left-arm spinner George Dockrell dimissed Dhoni with India still 41 runs shy, but Yusuf Pathan, in his customary fashion, clobbered the bowler for 16 runs in the same over to take India within sniffing distance of victory.

A sequence of 0, 4, 6, 6 took the pressure off Yuvraj who spent 108 minutes en route to his 47th ODI half century.

There was no twist in the tale after that as India completed the task with four overs to spare.
India's start was pretty similar to Ireland's as Virender Sehwag got a leading edge back to bowler Trent Johnston while trying to work him on the leg side in the second over.

It was a big wicket for Ireland, and the occasion was apt for Johnston to break into a celebratory jig.

Gautam Gambhir was the next to go, caught brilliantly by Alex Cusack. It was an ordianry delivery pitched outside leg, but Gambhir couldn’t check his shot as the ball flew towards square leg.

Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli then added 63 runs for the third wicket, before the legend was trapped in front by Dockrell for 38.

Tendulkar looked comfortable at the crease and played some good shots, including a flick that raced to the square-leg boundary off the first delivery he faced.

But it was meant to be Yuvraj's day as the dashing left-hander followed up his exploits with the ball with a knock that paved the way for an India victory.

The Punjab player was high on confidence after starring with the ball that also included important wickets of rival skipper Porterfield and last match' centurion Kevin O'Brien.

The Ireland skipper, who was dropped by Pathan for nought in the slips, ensured that he capitalised on the life.

Porterfield (75 off 104 balls) along with Niall O’Brien (46 off 78) put on 113 runs off 148 balls for the third wicket to put his team back on track, but the skipper's dismissal at a crucial juncture allowed India to fight back into the match.

During his 146-minute stay in the middle, Portefield hit six boundaries and a six, while Niall O'Brien's knock included three hits to the fence.

Alex Cusack made 24 of 30 balls, but overall, the Irish line-up found Yuvraj too difficult to handle on a track where batting never looked the most hardest thing in the world, especially in the first innings.

After the two early blows, it was more about a battle for survival for Ireland. Portefield and Niall O'Brien both showed gumption during an asociation, which not just steadied what seemed like a sinking ship a little while ago, but also yielded runs on the board.

They did the sensible thing by not taking on Zaheer, who was moving the ball both ways, but more than made up for their cautious approach against the India spearhead by milking the spinners.

Runs came at a healthy pace as long as the two were in the crease. Apart from an attack that lacked bite, the Irish duo was also helped by some sloppy ground fielding by the Indians, though Virat Kohli made for his few few lapses by running out O'Brien.

 

India team

SR Tendulkar, V Sehwag, G Gambhir, V Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, YK Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, PP Chawla, Z Khan, MM Patel

Ireland team

WTS Porterfield, PR Stirling, EC Joyce, NJ O'Brien†, AR White, AR Cusack, KJ O'Brien, JF Mooney, DT Johnston, GH Dockrell, WB Rankin


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