India toy with Ireland on way to Super8s
Reigning champions India warmed up for the Super Eights of the World Twenty20 by crushing hapless Ireland in their last group match by eight wickets, reports Arjun Sen. Full Coverage | Listen to podcastcricket Updated: Jun 11, 2009 13:02 IST
India did not seem to be affected by the controversy surrounding the exit of Virender Sehwag, winning their last group game against Ireland by 8 wickets. After restricting Ireland to 112/8 in a rain-curtailed 18-over-a-side game, the opening duo of Rohit Sharma (52 off 45) and Gautam Gambhir (37 off 31) put on a 77-run stand to set up an easy win.
A 10-wicket victory looked on the cards, before Regan West had Gambhir caught by Boyd Rankin at backward point. Skipper MS Dhoni was the only other wicket to fall, caught brilliantly by a running Bray off Kyle McCallan for 14. Chasing 113 shouldn’t have been a problem for the Indian batting, and that is how it turned out. Rohit Sharma hit the winning runs in the 16th over.
Dhoni’s decision to give his pacers first use of the overcast conditions was hardly a tough one to make. It did not take long for his bowlers to have the Irish batsmen in all sorts of trouble.
Zaheer Khan was the standout performer, picking up 4/19 in his three overs. The pair of John Mooney (19) and Andrew White (29) stemmed the rot, stitching together a 24-run stand and lending some respectability to the total.
Brief scores: Ireland 112-8 in 18 overs (Andrew White 29; Zaheer Khan 4-19, Pragyan Ojha 2-19) lost to India 113-2 in 15.3 overs (Rohit Sharma 52, Gautam Gambhir 37; Regan West 1-23) by 8 wkts.