Nelson - Ireland caused the first upset of the Cricket World Cup when an audacious 92
by Paul Stirling paved the way for a four-wicket win over the West
Indies at Nelson's Saxton Oval on Monday.
Stirling stood in a
match-defining 106-run stand with Ed Joyce for the second wicket as
Ireland chased down a 305-run target with 25 balls to spare.
cracked his 92 off 84 balls, Joyce scored 84 off 67 and Niall O'Brien
chimed in with an unbeaten 79 off 60 deliveries as they cashed in on
wayward West Indies bowling.
It was Ireland's first win over the
West Indies in six official matches and the first victory at this World
Cup achieved by a team batting second.
The 12th-ranked Irish paid
scant regard to the high-profile West Indians and enhanced their own
reputation as giant-killers after beating other top-tier nations England
and Pakistan in the previous two World Cups.
finish was a fitting reward for their spirited start to the match when
they opted to bowl and rapidly reduced the West Indies to 87-5.
Gayle again failed to fire as spinner George Dockrell carved through
the upper order before a dashing century by Lendl Simmons and a
personal-best 89 from Darren Sammy put some backbone into the West
Their power batting lifted the West Indies to what
should have been a respectable 304 but they lacked the discipline in
their bowling to defend the total.
Captain Jason Holder opened
with a first ball that raced wide of slips to the boundary to give
Ireland an immediate five runs from extras which started Stirling and
William Porterfield on their way to a 71-run first wicket stand.
With Porterfield's dismissal for 23, the left-handed Joyce joined right-hander Stirling to continue piling on the pressure.
dismissal, caught behind off a Marlon Samuels delivery, saw O'Brien
arrive to up the tempo further with the textbook formula of looking for
an early boundary each over and accumulating what runs were on offer
The West Indies were powerless to contain the
onslaught, going through eight bowlers, as the Irish batsmen clobbered
six sixes and 34 fours.
Joyce, on 42, was dropped by Darren Bravo
when he belted Holder towards the boundary, and O'Brien was on 38 when
he skied a Jerome Taylor delivery and Holder dropped what should have
been a regulation catch.
Taylor was the most successful West Indies bowler with three for 71.
Ireland started the day in the best possible fashion, winning the toss and ripping out the West Indies premier batsmen.
who finished with three for 50, claimed the prized wickets of Gayle
(36), Samuels (21) and Ramdin (one) in the space of just eight
It was another disappointment for Gayle who has not
passed 50 since playing Bangladesh in August and the last of his 21
centuries was against Sri Lanka in June 2013.
Simmons and Sammy gave the innings respectability with a West Indies sixth-wicket record stand of 154
- whose uncle Phil, the former West Indies batsman, is Ireland's coach
- was eventually dismissed in the last over for 104, his second
one-day international century.