ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

West Indies v Ireland, Group B, World Cup 2011, Mohali

Pollard and Smith power Windies to victory

The Bulletin by Siddarth Ravindran

March 11, 2011

Comments: 54 | Text size: A | A

West Indies 275 (Smith 107, Pollard 94, O'Brien 4-71) beat Ireland 231 (Joyce 84, Wilson 61, Sammy 3-31, Benn 4-53) by 44 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

One of Kieron Pollard's many hits to the fence included a one-handed six, Ireland v West Indies, Group B, World Cup, Mohali, March 11, 2011
Kieron Pollard smashed 94 off 55 deliveries to transform the game © AFP

West Indies opener Devon Smith made a maiden century but his effort was overshadowed by Kieron Pollard, who bludgeoned a limited Ireland attack all around Mohali to muscle his side to a tall total. Pollard's effort helped to quell the criticism over his lack of performances at the international level, and gave West Indies their third win in four matches, putting them in prime position for a quarter-final spot.

A fluent Ed Joyce steered Ireland's sprightly reply but they lacked the spark needed to chase down the substantial score, though for the fourth match in a row they showed they aren't out of their depth against top teams. They kept fighting even when hopes of a victory were lost, reducing the margin of defeat to 44 runs and ensuring that their net run-rate didn't take too big a hit.

The decision to replace the injured Chris Gayle with bowling allrounder Andre Russell meant West Indies had a long tail, and no batsman of note below No. 5. That meant Ireland would have been the happier side when West Indies crawled to 142 for 3 by the 35th over. The batsmen gambled by taking the batting Powerplay then; a wicket at that stage could have scuppered the innings, but Ireland couldn't make the vital breakthrough and were helpless as the power of Pollard helped ransack 55 runs in five overs to shift the balance of the game.

Ireland had two opportunities to remove Pollard in the Powerplay: John Mooney narrowly missed a direct hit from square leg when Pollard had given up hope of making his ground in the 37th over, and Gary Wilson shelled a catch at long-on after hurtling across to get to a skier in the next over.

Over the next 45 minutes Pollard made them regret those misses with his now familiar brand of hitting, mainly muscling boundaries in the arc between long-on and midwicket. Boyd Rankin, Ireland's quickest, was brought in to handcuff Pollard, but his short ball was walloped to midwicket and an attempted yorker was pummeled down the ground. Rankin was rattled by the ferocity of the second hit, muttering to himself as his fractional mistake was punished.

A drive to midwicket in the 42nd over brought up Pollard's half-century off 35 balls - he celebrated by kissing an arm band bearing the injured allrounder Dwayne Bravo's number - but he was just warming up. The wickets tumbled at the other end, but there was no stopping Pollard, who capped a frenzy of hitting with 20 runs of an O'Brien over, which included a monstrous one-handed six that easily sailed over deep midwicket.

O'Brien had taken four wickets for the first time in his one-day career, but the Pollard assault ruined his figures. Pollard was also in line for the second quickest World Cup hundred -after O'Brien's epic against England last month - but fell attempting a six over long-off.

The pyrotechnics at the end made up for a dull start to the match in front of a nearly empty stadium when the West Indies openers treated the dibbly-dobbly attack with undue caution. There were only six fours in the first 15 overs on a track that, despite plenty of grass, afforded little movement for the seamers.

West Indies were dawdling at 3.5 runs per over when O'Brien struck in the 25th, getting Chanderpaul first, and Darren Bravo for a duck three balls later. Smith persevered and he stepped up his strike-rate in the Powerplay with a series of fours, reaching his hundred in the 39th over. It didn't thrill the watchers, but for a side which has only managed four centuries in their last 28 matches, it was an important innings.

Soon after, Kevin O'Brien struck twice in an over for the second time, though that didn't stop the runs. Puzzlingly, Ireland used their best bowler, left-arm spinner George Dockrell, for only three overs.

Ireland's chase got off to a terrible start as Paul Stirling's poor World Cup continued, dismissed in the second over. Joyce walked in and caressed his first two deliveries for four and Ireland sprinted to 35 for 0 in five, before Darren Sammy reeled off three maidens in a row and, combining with the pacy and accurate debutant Russell, created the pressure that led to William Porterfield's dismissal.

Joyce and Niall O'Brien steadied Ireland, adding 44 trouble-free runs before Niall played down the wrong line to Sulieman Benn. Joyce and Wilson then forged the biggest partnership of the innings to keep Ireland afloat, but just as Wilson picked up the pace with a huge six and two reverse-swept fours, Joyce was dismissed. Kevin O'Brien fell to a spectacular diving catch from Pollard and with that Ireland's hopes were washed away.

A controversial lbw decision by umpire Asoka de Silva, which wasn't reversed on referral, ended Wilson's stay in the 42nd over, but by then Ireland were hurtling towards their third defeat, and now need two wins to qualify for the next stage.

Match Timeline

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 54 
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Posted by Narine on (March 14, 2011, 14:30 GMT)

To the WI selection panel & team please do not let England off the hook, they will be coming out hard for WI. Please play the following players against England. GAYLE, SMITH, BRAVO, SARWAN, POLLARD, SAMMY, THOMAS, BISHOO, RUSSEL, BENN & ROACH....Please pick this mix!

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 14, 2011, 2:28 GMT)

I believe Windies will make it to the finals if every man pulls his weight with Gayle Back my team would be Gayle Smith Bravo Sarwan Chaunderpaul Pollard Thomas Sammy Russel Ben and Roach. My reason for that team is we cannot go up against England with 5 batters and a long tial we need 6 batters with thomas and Sammy at 7 and 8, and then the bowlers with GAYLE back we dont need another spinner for Gayle will play that roll. Chaunderpaul has not made a big contribution with the bat but before this world cup is over he will come GOOD it might just be against England. Dont take England for garnted they are still a dangerous team this match is do or die for them and they will be coming at us with all what they got we got to play the right team to defeat them. Make no bones about it Chaunderpaul might be out of form but he is a player of CLASS form is Temporary but CLASS is PERMINANT,once he is selected in the squard and he is not injured he should play. Mark my words time will tell.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 13, 2011, 18:40 GMT)

Y is it that bishoo not playing as yet? they need to play him he is one of the the best young spinner in world cricket ,if u dont believe me look up his status.he need to play if west indies was too win more games.and with the team that Ncassie mension ,its the perfect one.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 13, 2011, 13:38 GMT)

west indies always produced great players , and its still continuing , pollard is one of them with great skill to hit big sixes and take the team on his own, with player like gayle ,pollard ,bravo,and roach west indies has great chances to b the champion again , best of luck west indies

Posted by PATRICK on (March 13, 2011, 12:54 GMT)

Great knocks Smith and Pollard. But I do not agree about everyone taking their responsibility. The score should have been well out of Ireland's reach but the last 6 batters fell very cheaply. I am not expecting big scores but a 20 or so from a couple of these guys would have made the total unreachable. Apart from Roachy, everyone else in the line-up can aparently hold a bat. We can go all the way if this happens.

Posted by Stephen on (March 13, 2011, 2:43 GMT)

Hats off to NCassie as he has done a yoeman job in possibly selecting the best W.I.Paper Team available at present. It is most notable that you have kindly included our Captain in that list.Keep your eraser handy as Shiv and Sarwan may soon become victims of their own recklessness.What amazes me is the ability of premier batsmen to fall from grace without showing a willingness to negate their follies. I remember many years ago one H.A.Gomes was dropped after being out of form for some time.His solution was to spend many long hours at the Arima(Trinidad) nets, most times being bowled by the local stragglers.He regained his Test place and went on to score 4 additional Test centuries.I can only toast to the day when West Indies Cricket will once again ascend the pinnacles of success and touch the blue hues of heaven.

Posted by abid on (March 12, 2011, 20:20 GMT)

great win, now v can say windies playing like a team . everybody taking there responsibility . one change miller out gayle in , russel impress me good bowler , hope to see same performance against england , best of luck west indies , go west indies go

Posted by Narine on (March 12, 2011, 18:14 GMT)

WI need to play hard and select a strong team against the English to secure a quarter final spot. My eleven if I had to pick should be; Gayle, Smith, Bravo, Sarwan, Pollard, Thomas, Sammy, Bishoo, Russel, Benn & Roach.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 12, 2011, 17:36 GMT)

I hope that the critics are taking note. Everyone was on Devon Smith's case, saying that he should not be on the team. But by now i know a lot of them are swallowing their pride. He is not only the one on the team with the highest score so far, but he is also the leading scorer. So to you Devon Smith's critics out there, what is your case? Where are the so called big guns, with the exception of Darren Bravo and Pollard in the two last games. Well done Windies keep up the good work.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 12, 2011, 12:45 GMT)

I think that with the present state of West indies Cricket, Kiron Pollard must be guaranteed a permanent place in the WI first eleven. He has what the best batsmen in West Indiies cricket were renowned for - 'intimidation'. The names of Richards, Lara and Sobers intimidated bowlers around the world. They are now being very much intimidated by Kiron Pollard - his body language shows that he knows it; and that's what is giving him the confidence to perform. In fact, he is right there with Virender Sehwag, Chris Gale and Dilshan as the batsmen in the world who put fear into bowlers all over the world. He should be given a permanaent position on the WI team, in all forms of the game. I do not agree that Chanderpaul should be written off. The Great Sachin Tendulkar is the best example of players whom the experts like to write off. But Tendulkar is now having the best period of his career, even though he was written off a few years ago. Give 'The Tiger' a chance to come back like Tendulkar.

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