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Pollard makes the difference

Worm for the Ireland-West Indies match ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Kieron Pollard saved West Indies' blushes after Ireland pushed them all the way with another whole-hearted performance in Mohali. In 31 previous ODI innings, Pollard had a highest score of 62 - which was one of only two half-centuries in this format - and his average stay at the crease was a mere 20 deliveries per innings.

From West Indies' point of view, Pollard could not have chosen a better time to get his highest in ODIs. His 94 from only 55 balls was the difference between the two teams. Leave aside his contribution, and West Indies' run-rate for the innings was 4.43; Ireland's innings run-rate was 4.71.

For much of the run-chase, Ireland were ahead of West Indies' total at the same stage. After 35 overs, Ireland were 157 for 3, compared to West Indies' 142 for 3 - 15 runs to the good, same number of wickets in hand.

From there, things took a sudden turn as Pollard turned it up a couple of gears, while Ireland lost a couple of key wickets - including Gary Wilson's to a shocking umpiring decision by Asoka de Silva - and completely lost their momentum. After the 35th, West Indies had seven overs when they scored ten or more runs; Ireland only had one such over.

The way the two teams used the batting Powerplay was also key: West Indies's sequence from those overs was 12, 12, 10, 12, 9. Ireland, on the other hand, took their Powerplay when they'd already lost nine wickets, and most runs they managed from one of those five overs was nine.


More stats from the match

  • Pollard's knock is the second-fastest among innings in this World Cup which have lasted at least 50 balls. Pollard's strike rate for his innings was 170.90, which is marginally behind Kevin O'Brien's 179.36 for his 63-ball 113.

  • Devon Smith's 107 is his maiden ODI hundred, and it continues an impressive recent run: in his last 12 innings, he averages 39.66, with one century and three fifties. His overall ODI average is only 27.59.

  • Two bowlers took four wickets in the game, but Kevin O'Brien's was a fairly expensive effort - it cost him 71 runs in nine overs. His economy rate of 7.88 is the second-highest for bowlers who've taken four wickets in a World Cup game, next only to Chris Mpofu's 4 for 62 in seven overs against Sri Lanka yesterday. Three of the four most expensive efforts have come in this World Cup.

  • West Indies managed only 28 runs in the first ten overs, which equals the lowest for one of the Full Member teams in this World Cup. Australia had scored 28 after ten overs in their first game against Zimbabwe.