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Page last updated at 19:54 GMT, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 20:54 UK

Ruthless India outclass Ireland

ICC World Twenty20 Group A, Trent Bridge:
India 113-2 (15.3 ovs) beat Ireland 112-8 (18 ovs) by eight wickets(Match reduced to 18 overs because of rain)
Match scorecard

Ireland v India

Highlights - India crush Ireland (UK users only)

By Jamie Lillywhite

India sealed a comfortable eight-wicket win over Ireland in a World Twenty20 group game reduced to 18 overs by rain.

Both teams were already through to the Super Eights but India soon dominated, with Zaheer Khan (4-19) taking three wickets in his first two overs.

Ireland scored 39 from the final three overs, Andrew White with three fours and a six in 29 to help them to 112-8.

Rohit Sharma hit four fours and a six in his unbeaten 52 as India reached their target with 15 balls remaining.

Although there was nothing in the match, there was an excitable atmosphere with both teams well supported by colourful, good-natured fans who waited patiently through a period of heavy rain.

But in truth they did not have much of a contest to savour as the Irish top order capitulated against the Indian left-arm seamers who relished bowling first in the overcast conditions.

Ireland were missing two key players, however, Trent Johnston and Niall O'Brien, who remain hopeful of being fit for the opening game of the Super Eights on Thursday afternoon.

After Jeremy Bray's stumps were splattered, solitary slip Yusuf Pathan collected two excellent catches.

Then the spinners put their stamp on proceedings, Kevin O'Brien dragging slow left-armer Pragyan Ojha's first delivery on to his stumps.

The wicket did a bit early on and they landed it in the right areas

William Porterfield

Gary Wilson battled to 19 but played for an off-spinner from Harbhajan Singh when instead the ball held its line and uprooted the off pole.

If that was an understandable misjudgement against a top class operator, the dismissal of Regan West certainly was not.

The burly left-hander clipped his first ball confidently but ambled back for a second, the throw ricocheted off Mahendra Dhoni's pads, dislodged the bails and replays found that West, though in his crease, had no part of bat or body grounded.

White got enough bat on his pull shot against Irfan Pathan to hit the only six of the innings as 15 came from the 16th over to help the Irish to three figures, something that looked distinctly remote at 48-5 in the 10th.

While the reduced powerplay segment of five overs produced 24 for Ireland, India notched 38 in that period.

The fifty partnership came from 42 balls and although it did not contain the expected barrage of boundaries, there was also a complete lack of difficulty for the batsmen.

Gautam Gambhir had played the occasional bold stroke backing away to hit through the off-side, but just when it looked as though his side would quietly record a 10-wicket win he skewed to backward point, leaving 36 needed from 43 balls.

Gary Wilson
Wilson was bamboozled by a mystical doosra from Harbhajan

Sharma gave the crowd something to cheer with a mighty 90 metre swipe over mid-wicket.

In another high quality piece of late action, Dhoni was caught brilliantly in the deep by Bray diving forward.

Sharma came within inches of winning the match with a six, reaching his fifty from 44 balls, as the victory was reached with heavy rain about to descend, and while this match may not have tested India, their rivals will know there is much more to come from them.

Irish skipper William Porterfield lamented the absence of experienced seamer Johnston and said: "Trent on that pitch would have been a big help to us.

"The wicket did a bit early on and they landed it in the right areas," he said.

"But I thought we fought back really well and posted a fairly competitive total."

Looking ahead to the Super Eight phase he added: "There's an upset in us."

India captain Dhoni said: "The bowlers did really well with the new ball and the spinners did a good job.

"We can do better in the field, we were at about 85-90% efficiency and each game in the Super Eight will be tough."

Zaheer took the man-of-the-match award and said: "This is one of my favourite grounds, I love this wicket.

"We are bowling well as a unit and have a lot of options."

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see also
World Twenty20 day six as it happened
10 Jun 09 |  Cricket
World Twenty20 day six photos
10 Jun 09 |  Cricket
Karthik to replace injured Sehwag
10 Jun 09 |  India
Ireland advance to Super Eights
08 Jun 09 |  Cricket
India too strong for Bangladesh
06 Jun 09 |  Cricket
World Twenty20 tables
06 Jun 09 |  Cricket
ICC World Twenty20 2009 results
21 Jun 09 |  Cricket

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