Justifying their 'giant-killers' reputation, minnows Ireland have once again caused a major in their opening match of the ICC World Cup 2015 by beating West Indies by four wickets. While chasing an imposing total of 304 they got off to a flying start as their openers stitched 71 runs for the first wicket. And then their top order also joined the party and kept the pressure on West Indian bowlers to eventually seal the match comfortably by four wicket with 25 balls to spare. For the whirlwind knock of 93 opener Paul Stirling was adjudged Man of the Match.
Over 45.5 || Score 307/6
Mooney's top edge flew over wicketkeepers head as the ball crossed the boundary rope. And with that Ireland beat West Indies by four wickets. First upset of the World Cup.
Over 45 || Score 301/6
Roach to bowl the over. K O'Brien run-out! That's the last thing Ireland could have asked for. John Mooney has walked in after the fall of Ireland's fifth wicket. NJ O'Brien then smashed two consecutive boundaries to almost finish the game for Ireland. 4 runs required from 30 balls.
KJ O'Brien run out 0 (1b)
Over 44 || Score 290/5
Tight 43rd over by speedster Roach as he conceded mere three runs. Even in the next over Taylor not only got the better Wilson but also gave mere a single to put some pressure back on Ireland. The batting side still required 15 runs from 36 balls. Kevin O'Brien is the new man in.
GC Wilson c Gayle b Taylor 1 (6b)
Over 42 || Score 286/4
Taylor picks up his second wicket as Balbirnie caught at deep mid-wicket. Match is still not over. It can still be anyone's game. Ireland required 19 runs from 48 balls and they have six wickets in hand. Gary Wilson has joined NJ O'Brien in the middle.
A Balbirnie c Bravo b Taylor 9 (9b)
Over 40 || Score 283/3
Joyce Out! Another fine knock by an Irish player comes to an end as Taylor gets the better of Joyce. In his whirlwind knock Joyce smashed ten fours and two sixes. Andy Balbirnie is the new man in. And the new man hits two consecutive boundaries to keep the pressure off Ireland. Ireland required 22 runs from 60 balls.
EC Joyce c Bravo b Taylor 84 (67b)
Over 39 || Score 269/2
Another good over for Ireland as they added 14 more runs to their score with the help of two boundaries, which came from the bat of NJ O'Brien, who also completed his half-century in the over. Ireland required 36 runs from 11 overs. Is another World Cup upset on the cards for West Indies?
Over 38 || Score 255/2
Taylor to bowl his fifth over. NJ O'Brien hits two consecutive boundaries off the second and third deliveries to collect 11 from the over. NJ O'Brien is just one run shy of his fifty. 50 runs needed from 12 overs. Menwhile, Ireland crossed the 250-run mark as well.
Over 37 || Score 244/2
Batting Powerpay. It means another chance for Ireland to exhilarate a bit and keep their grip on the match intact. 11 runs from the first two overs of the powerplay.
Over 35 || Score 233/2
In the 34th voer NJ O'Brien smashed Russell for two boundaries and then in the next Joyce got a boundary off Gayle to collect 20 from two overs. Ireland are looking set to produce another upset in the World Cup. Now they required 72 off 15 overs and they have eight wickets in hand.
Over 33 || Score 213/2
Both the batsmen in the middle are hitting boundaries at regular intervals to keep West Indian bowlers under instant pressure. In the meanwhile Ireland have crossed the 200-run mark. West Indian skipper and bowlers are looking short of ideas.
Over 30 || Score 186/2
Ireland needed 119 runs from 20 overs, which is quite achievable for Ireland, because of the way they are playing at the moment. Niall O'Brien is the new man in after the fall of Stirling's wicket. Can Ireland upset West Indies today, you never know. They have done it in the past against the other teams in the very event.
Over 27 || Score 177/2
Samuels strikes as Stirling misses his ton by eight runs. Straight ball by spinner and Stirling edges it straight into the hands of wicketkeeper. Big blow for Ireland. Meanwhile, Joyce has completed his half-century.
PR Stirling c Ramdin b Samuels 92 (84b)
Over 25 || Score 162/1
Ireland are changing their gears. In the last two overs they have added 31 runs with the help of six boundaries and a six. Joyce and Stirling are dealing in boundaries and are hitting the bowlers all over the park.
Over 23 || Score 131/1
Roach is leaking too many runs. Stirling once again picks him up to collect 12 runs from his fourth over, with the help of a six and a boundary. So far Roach has conceded 38 runs in his four overs with an economy of 9.50.
Over 22 || Score 119/1
Joyce launches Sammy for a six in the 21st over, this time over long off to collect nine runs from the over. West Indies bowlers are looking ordinary at the moment as both the batsmen are hitting boundaries at will.
Over 20 || Score 106/1
In the first ball of the 18th over, Stirling runs a double to complete his half-century. Fine innings so far by the southpaw. Meanwhile, Ireland have crossed the 100-run mark as well in the 19th over. New man in, Joyce is also not missing out any chance of hitting boundaries and sixes. Now Ireland need 199 in the next 30 overs to seal the match.
Over 17 || Score 92/1
Opener Paul Stirling has started playing big shots to up the ante. He first smashes a boundary off Gayle in the 16th over before smacking Russell for a maximum in the next. He is mere two runs shy of his half-century.
Over 15 || Score 76/1
Gayle strikes, Porterfield Out! The right hander nicks the ball as wicketkeeper Ramdin takes a sharp catch. Spinner has done the trick for West Indies. Ed Joyce is the new man in.
WTS Porterfield c Ramdin b Gayle 23 (43b)
Over 12 || Score 66/0
Double bowling change for West Indies as spinner Chris Gayle and Andre Russell have been introduced into the attack. And both the bowlers have started off well as they gave mere five runs in the last two overs.
Over 10 || Score 61/0
Ireland couldn't have ask for a better start than this, especially while chasing a total of 304. Both the openers -- Porterfield and Stirling -- are looking calm, composed and focused towards their target. West Indian speedsters haven't created any real chances aginst these two.
Over 8 || Score 54/0
In the 8th over Stirling hits Taylor for a six over fine leg fence as Ireland cross the 50-run mark. Solid start by Ireland openers while chasing a big total. 14 runs came in the last two overs.
Over 6 || Score 40/0
Ireland have got off to a flying start while chasing an imposing total of 304. Both the openers are playing the ball according to its merit. West Indian bowlers are still in search of their first breakthrough.
Over 4 || Score 31/0
Stirling is dealing in boundaries at the moment. He hits two more fours in the second over off pacer Roach. Both the openers are looking solid in the middle. They are dispatching poor balls and placing good balls for singles and doubles. Smart cricket by Ireland batsmen. Ten runs conceded in the over.
Over 3 || Score 21/0
Stirling collects his first boundary by cutting Holder's half trekker towards backward point. That's the only poor ball from the over as a single came from rest of the over.
Over 2 || Score 16/0
Kemar Roach is bowling from the other end. Off the fifth ball, Porterfield pulls Roach for a flat six over square leg. Cracking shot by the southpaw as Ireland once again collect eight from the over.
Over 1 || Score 8/0
First ball, a big wide by Holder as wicketkeeper too finds it difficult to stop as Ireland welcome the five extra runs off the first ball. Good first over for Ireland as they collect eight from it.
Skipper Jason Holder has the new ball in hand, whereas, William Porterfield and Paul Stirling are opening the innings for Ireland.
West Indies Innings
Over 50 || Score 304/7
Hundred for Lendl Simmons. The right-hander completed his ton in style by hitting a boundary in the fourth ball off last over. He used 83 balls to reach the three figure-mark, lacked with nine boundaries and five sixes. What a time to hit a century! Now he has become the fourth centurion of the ICC World Cup 2015. Simmons got out off the next ball. But eventually the fine knocks by Sammy and Simmons helped WI to put up an imposing total of 304 in front of Ireland.
LMP Simmons c Dockrell b Sorensen 102 (124m 84b)
Over 48 || Score 280/6
New man in Russell along Simmons are hitting the Ireland bowlers all over the park. In the last two overs they hit four boundaries and a six to collect 26 runs. Now the figure of 300 must be in the minds of WI and it's looking quite achievable from here.
Over 46 || Score 254/6
Darren Sammy Out! Finally, Ireland breaks the sixth wicket partnership between Sammy and Simmons as Mooney gets the better of the big hitter. Sammy missed his ton by 11 runs. But a gutsy and fine knock by the big man. Andre Russell is the new man in. Meanwhile, WI have crossed the 250-run mark.
DJG Sammy c Dockrell b Mooney 89 (67b)
Over 44 || Score 228/5
Simmons completes his fifty in style by hitting the first ball off the 44th over off K O'Brien for a boundary. He then celebrate the landmark by hitting a six and two more boundaries to collect 22 from the over. Meanwhile, WI have crossed the 200-run mark as well.
Over 42 || Score 198/5
In the last ten overs WI will look to score as many runs they can. With five wickets in hand they can think of giving a challenging total of 250 to Ireland. Simmons and Sammy have collected three boundaries in total in the last two overs. Both the batsmen are well set and now looking for some big hits.
Over 40 || Score 180/5
Sammy is now looking for big hits. After collecting a boundary in the 39th over off K O'Brien, he hits Sorensen for a six in the next over. On the other end, Simmons is also taking his chances. It's high time Ireland should break this dangerous looking six wicket partnership betwen these two.
Over 38 || Score 163/5
In the last ball of the 38th over, Sammy collects a single on the on side off Dockrell to complete his fifty. What a sensible and fighting knock by Sammy. He took just 45 balls to reach the landmark with the help of four boundaries and two sixes.
Over 36 || Score 144/5
In the last two overs WI collected 15 runs as Sammy and Simmons smashed a boundary each. Meanwhile, they have stitched 50-run partnership as well for the sixth wicket. Now the momentum is slightly shifting towards West Indies.
Over 34 || Score 129/5
Sammy has now started picking up his spots and collecting boundaries and sixes every now and then. In the 34th over he hits Sorensen towards mid-wicket to collect a boundary.
Over 32 || Score 120/5
In the 32nd over by Sorensen, Sammy slaps the bowler for six over long on. A powerful hit by the big man as WI collected ten from the over.
Over 30 || Score 106/5
Sammy and Simmons are playing sensible cricket in middle as they are dealing in single and doubles and not taking any kind of risks, which is the need of the hour. McBrine and Dockrell are completing their overs quickly.
Over 27 || Score 101/5
West Indies cross the 100-run mark in the over. Sammy and Simmons have to stitch a big partnership here if WI need to put up a challenging total in from of Ireland.
Over 26 || Score 99/5
After loosing three wickets in quick succession Darren Sammy and Lendl Simmons are in the middle for West Indies. In the 26th over Sammy breaks the shackles by hitting Dockrell for a six over long off.
Over 25 || Score 93/5
Ramdin Out! Dockrell is on a roll here. New batsman Ramdin goes for an expensive sweep shot early in his innings, misses the the line completely and traps in front of the wicket. West Indies in deep trouble. Ireland on top of the match as half of the WI team is back in the hut.
D Ramdin lbw b Dockrell 1 (6b)
Over 22 || Score 84/4
Double breakthrough for Ireland, Gayle and Samuels back in the hut. Gayle goes for a big shot, doesn't get the hold of it as O'Brien takes a simple catch in the deep mid-wicket boundary. And after a gap of a ball, left-arm spinner Dockrell gets the better of Samuels as well as he traps him in front.
MN Samuels lbw b Dockrell 21 (41b)
CH Gayle c KJ O'Brien b Dockrell 36 (65b)
Over 20 || Score 71/2
Ireland need another wicket here before Samuels and Gayle settles down and consolidate their partnership for the third wicket. Both are dangerous hitters of the cricket ball and can change the complexion of the match single-handedly. So Ireland has to be wary of these two.
Over 19 || Score 67/2
In the 18th over bowled by Dockrell, Gayle hit the first six of the match as he launched the bowler over long on. But that's the only big shot in the last two overs as West Indies collected 13 from them.
Over 17 || Score 54/2
Once again a double bowling change by Ireland skipper as introduces Paul Stirling and George Dockrell to the attack. It means spin from both the ends.
Over 15 || Score 50/2
Another good over by McBrine as he gives mere a single in it. Meanwhile, West Indies touched the 50-run mark in the over. Ireland bowlers not offering much room to the batsmen to free their arms.
Over 14 || Score 49/2
McBrine and O'Brien are bowling in tandem. In the last two overs they have conceded mere three runs. Though the boundaries are short here, WI are finding it difficult to get them, at least for now. Samuels and Gayle are not even looking in a hurry to score runs quickly.
Over 12 || Score 46/2
Tight line and excellent ground fielding are troubling West Indies batsmen to keep the score ticking with the help of singles and doubles. Even Gayle is finding it difficult to go for big shots.
Over 10 || Score 40/2
In first ten over, Ireland have managed to put West Indies batsmen quiet. In fact, they have picked up two wickets as well and have signaled that they are not an easy side to play against. All the bowlers have shown great disciplined so far. For West Indies, the only good news is that their swashbuckling opener Chris Gayle is still in the middle.
Over 8 || Score 31/2
Double bowling change. And here comes the star of the team Kevin O'Brien. And he strikes, Smith Out! A length delivery, batsman tries to hit it over the long on boundary but couldn't connect it well as Mooney takes a simple catch in the deep. Darren Bravo is the new man in. OHHH RUN-OUT. Gayle wanted a run Bravo wasn't not sure about it, eventually went for it and fell well short of his crease as it's a direct hit.
DM Bravo run out 0 (0b)
DR Smith c Mooney b KJ O'Brien 18 (24b)
Over 7 || Score 29/0
First bowling change. Spinner Andy McBrine has been introduced in to the attack. Is it a good move by the skipper? We will get to know soon. McBrine is right on the money as he gives nothing away from his first over.
Over 6 || Score 29/0
Smith is dealing in boundaries at the moment. He picks up his third boundary of the match by hitting the bowler over mid-on -- stand and deliver. However, Gayle is looking in no hurry and dealing in singles.
Over 5 || Score 21/0
Smith has started opening up a bit. The dangerous opener hits two boundaries off Mooney. First he chips him towards deep mid wicket to collect his first boundary of the match and then slaps him towards point region for another to collect nine runs from the over.
Over 4 || Score 12/0
First boundary of the match comes from the bat of Chris Gayle when he slaps an over-pitched delivery towards long off in the fourth over of the match by Sorensen.
Both the strike bowlers are not trying too much and are sticking to basics which is good thing. They are focusing on maintaining a good line and length.
Over 2 || Score 3/0
A quiet start by West Indies, as first over was a maiden from Mooney, whereas in the next came three. Both the bowlers have picked the line and length early on and have kept it tight so far.
Dangerous opening pair of Dwayne Smith and Chris Gayle are in the middle, whereas, John Mooney and Max Sorensen are opening the bowling for Ireland.
Toss: Ireland have won the toss and will bowl first.
Traditional giant-killers Ireland and under-pressure West Indies possess all the ingredients for a high-scoring clash in their opening World Cup match in Nelson on Monday.
Both sides feature quality batsmen but relatively inexperienced bowling line-ups for a match they have each targeted as ripe for getting immediate points on the board.
Ireland are no strangers to knocking over teams from cricket`s elite top eight. At the 2011 World Cup they pulled off an historic win over England and four years before that they stunned Pakistan.
New ball bowlers John Mooney and Max Sorensen snared three wickets each and Andy Balbirnie chimed in with an unbeaten 63 in the four-wicket win.
The West Indies meanwhile suffered a morale damaging nine-wicket loss to England last week when they were all out for 122 in 29.3 overs, and just managed to beat Scotland with three balls to spare.
For West Indies Chris Gayle and Dwayne Smith need to fire atop and give Windies a good start. Jason Holder will hope his leadership skills will be spot-on. Benn would be leading the spin attack and need to carry responsibility of being a senior player.
West Indies (From): Dwayne Smith, Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Denesh Ramdin(w), Darren Sammy, Andre Russell, Jason Holder(c), Jerome Taylor, Kemar Roach, Nikita Miller, Sheldon Cottrell, Jonathan Carter, Sulieman Benn
Ireland (From): William Porterfield(c), Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Gary Wilson(w), Niall O'Brien, Andrew Balbirnie, Kevin O'Brien, John Mooney, George Dockrell, Max Sorensen, Craig Young, Alex Cusack, Peter Chase, Stuart Thompson, Andy McBrine
Umpires: Richard Illingworth(Eng), Bruce Oxenford(Aus)
Third Umpire: Chris Gaffaney(NZ)
Match Referee: Chris Broad(Eng)