India's heightened fielding skills were on display once again, when John Mooney pushed the ball towards short cover and turned down a single, sending his partner Stuart Thompson scrambling to make his ground. Virat Kohli swooped on the ball and in one smooth motion set the stumps at the bowler's end alight with a direct hit. Thompson did not wait for the third umpire's confirmation that he was run out.
The rare event
MS Dhoni standing motionless as edges fly within diving distance of him is a recurring theme, but when it comes to a stumping his fast hands are among the best in the business. So it was a rare sight to see him miss a take against Suresh Raina when William Porterfield ran out of his crease and yorked himself. Dhoni could have been unsighted by the batsman and it was a quick delivery; he barely had time to move his gloves into position before the opportunity had passed.
A highlight of the ground experience at the World Cup matches in New Zealand has been the choice of songs the DJ plays during the breaks in play. They range from classics to the top 40 and are almost always easy on the ear. And like his counterparts at other venues, the DJ at Seddon Park was ace at picking out tunes to match the on-field action, however tenuous the connection at times. When Porterfield called for a change of bat and an Ireland substitute obliged, he ran out on the field to the 1960s Batman theme. And when Kumar Dharmasena signaled a wide, in the few seconds before the next ball, the chorus of Creed's Arms Wide Open was played.
The unlikely leader
When Alex Cusack ramped Mohammed Shami straight to third man, the fielder settling under the catch was Umesh Yadav and he took it easily to ensure India had bowled out all five teams they have come up against in the World Cup so far. The grab was Umesh's seventh of the tournament and it took him past Hashim Amla and Suresh Raina to No. 1 on the list of most catches in this World Cup. Who would have bet on an fast bowler topping that chart?
Ireland would have known their chances at the start were going to be few and far before the artillery went on full charge. The India openers started soberly, sizing up any possible bogeys in the pitch, fiddling for six-odd overs; Mooney put down a hard return catch off Dhawan in the third over, but the real stinger followed three overs later. Dhawan's eyes lit up when Mooney offered one deliciously wide. He slashed, the catch looping up towards backward point where Porterfield leaped at full stretch, but the ball bobbed in and out of his hands. Twenty runs followed in the next five balls. Game over.