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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 June 2007, 19:11 GMT 20:11 UK
Ganguly & Gambhir see India home
One-day international, Stormont: India 172-1 (35 overs) bt Ireland 193 (50 overs) by Duckworth/Lewis method

Gautam Gambhir guided India to victory
Gambhir struck his third ODI half-century for India in Belfast
India cruised home in a rain-affected one-day international against Ireland at the Civil Service Club in Stormont.

Ireland were put in and struggled to 111-6, before Niall O'Brien struck his fourth ODI half-century (52) and Trent Johnston (34) took them up to 193.

After a three-hour delay India were set 171 from 39 overs and they had a woeful start, Sachin Tendulkar out for four.

But Gautam Gambhir (80) and Sourav Ganguly (74) put on an unbroken 163 and India won with four overs remaining.

It was only Ireland's second home ODI and they will hope for a different result when they take on South Africa on Sunday.


India chose to field in swing-friendly conditions and Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and Rudra Pratap Singh soon found some movement.

Sreesanth (3-50) quickly got rid of Kenny Carroll (seven) and Dominick Joyce (18) as the hosts struggled to get going in just their second home ODI.

Will Porterfield dropped anchor to try and help his side out of trouble, but he fell for 16 and then Gary Wilson (13), Kevin O'Brien (three) and Andrew White (eight) were all bamboozled by teenage leg-spinner Piyush Chawla.

It was left to the obdurate Niall O'Brien and his captain Johnston to move Ireland to respectability as they upped the tempo.

O'Brien hammered Singh for four but was out next ball in the 45th over, getting a leading edge to debutant middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma at cover.

Johnston continued to add to the total and hit Sreesanth for two massive sixes but he eventually holed out to Yuvraj Singh, before Roger Whelan was stumped off the last ball of the innings.

Roger Whelan celebrates bowling Sachin Tendulkar in Belfast
Roger Whelan got Tendulkar out in his first over of ODI cricket

A prolonged downpour in Belfast put India's reply in danger, but after several inspections, play finally resumed after a three-hour delay with a revised target of 171.

Whelan was making his ODI debut and, after being hit for four by Tendulkar, came back brilliantly to nip one through the gate of the legendary batsman.

Gambhir joined Ganguly at the crease and, though the former skipper rode his luck at times, they never seriosuly looked like they would fail to reach their target.

Irish captain Johnston and Thinus Fourie both bowled economically, but the hosts rarely looked like taking enough wickets to provide India with a scare.

Ganguly eased to his 68th ODI half-century and he hit the winning runs off Fourie as India romped to victory.

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