Result: India (210/5) defeat Ireland (207) by five wickets
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Conclusions? Well, Ireland have shown that there is the mettle and raw substance within the team to challenge the world’s best. Before the England game, Ireland performances were characterised by great bowling and then sub-par batting; on Wednesday they managed both, and today it was the batting that gave the team a chance.
India is a side known for its batting prowess, and the fact that Ireland kept them battling until the end is something to be proud of.
The TV folks reckon being pushed like this will be good for India – but right now, as we sign off on 6,870 words of coverage, it’s difficult not to feel like this is a game Ireland could – and maybe should – have won.
Thanks for your readership, emails and tweets all day – Ireland are back in action on Friday (at 4am! Gulp!) against the West Indies, when we’ll ride this crazy cricketing rollercoaster all over again.
That’s the game. It may sound like a cliche, but Ireland have – yet again – reasons to be proud. India, as a strong home side, are considered one of the favourites to win this tournament – but they were made work all the way by a gutsy Ireland who contested every single ball.
On another day, with Trent Johnston able to bowl more than five overs, Ireland could have had a chance – but let’s not take it away from India, whose line-up of celebrity batsmen refused to let the country down, and will leave the packed crowd in Bangalore leaving very happy.
46th over: India, with five overs left, call their batting powerplay. With Pathan out there, it is the right call – or it would be, if it wasn’t already compulsory. We are finally told now, by the way, that Trent Johnston went off with that injury and that Ireland have been fielding with ten men since his retirement.
The first – a single for Singh – brings up the 200. The third, another single, gets to 201 – and the fourth, another four for Pathan, puts India just three runs away from victory.
The fifth – another single for Singh – makes him the first man in history to score a 50, as well as take five wickets, in a World Cup game.
The sixth… is, inevitably, a four for Bathan – who brings his team home, 210/5.
45th over: Stirling’s tenth over. A single for Singh, before two dots. The fourth is a six for Pathan, who capitalises on the short delivery bringing India to 199. The fifth is a near-miss for him, having to dive back for cover risking a run out. 199/5.
Did I mention Ireland need wickets?
44th over: Rankin takes his tenth and final over; we’re assuming that Trent Johnston’s leg hasn’t cleared up enough to allow him close out. The first gives Pathan a single but number two is closer to home; the third is a single, the fourth a high bouncer. The fifth and sixth draw blank. 192/5.
43rd over: Stirling’s first two are fine, but the third yields a single for Singh, bringing the hard-hitting Pathan back in play. The fourth goes nowhere, John Mooney stops the fifth from going for a boundary, and the sixth adds a second single. 190/5.
Ireland need wickets.
42nd over: Rankin opens with singles for Singh and Pathan. The third is wide – twice – and ultimately yields another single. This is getting away from the gallant visitors in green. 188/5.
41st over: Here comes Yusuf Pathan, whose World Cup average is 11… but the third ball of the over is battered out for four. The next goes for six! The fifth is a dot, but the last is a six. What a way to turn the game on its head! From Irish heart, to Irish heartbreak… Pathan takes 16 in five balls, and India look good at 183/5. That second six was the second-longest of the tournament so far, just short of Kevin O’Brien’s monster against England.
40.1: DHONI IS GIVEN OUT! LBW! Review pending. Dockrell looks like he’s got him… and Hawk-Eye agrees. Now we have a game. The partnership of 67 is broken, and India are 167/5 with 59 balls left.
40th over: Rankin returns for his eighth over of ten, and despite Porterfield’s further tinkering – packing the area around the wicket – five of the six yield singles. 167/4, and India still have a batting powerplay.
39th over: Dockrell is back; his first three are a little short, and each yields a single; the fourth requires more conservatism from Dhoni. Ireland, knowing this game will be won or lost based on taking some wickets, are being a touch more aggressive now. 162/4.
38th over: After the let-off, Dhoni takes two – no airborne mistakes this time – and a further single on the third. Singh, back at strike, takes an easy four on the fifth – his strike is firm and sweet. Another single wraps it up. 158/4, India need 50 more (from 72 balls) to win.
37th over: Singh and Dhoni’s partnership hits fifty through singles on the first, third and fourth. 150/4.
36th over: Cusack’s first three allow nothing; Dhoni’s off-side swipe with the fourth veers towards the boundary but is stopped for a single. The fifth is short and allows Singh a good wallop, but yields just one more. The sixth, likewise. 147/4, as India creep toward the line.
35th over: Stirling comes back in, and lands his first right at Singh’s feet, unplayable. The second is overthrown by the men in the field, and yields another – as does the third, while Porterfield overthrows on the fourth to offer a double. The fifth is wide, but the rest is enough – five for the hosts, who needed that boost. 144/4.
34th over: Alex Cusack becomes Ireland’s eighth bowler (the average would be six). Singh nabs the first enough distance to take a single. Dhoni uses the fourth to sweep back over Cusack’s head and grab four – no follow through, no backlift. just… four – aided by his fairly massive bat. A single finishes it off. 139/4.
33rd over: With fluids on board, Dockrell returns. Dhoni nicks a single on the third ball, and Singh likewise on the fourth, but there’s just the two. At this stage Ireland will be more concerned about taking out another wicket or two; the Indian run rate is still enough to bring them home, but Ireland still have a shout here. 132/4.
32nd over: A mild fielding mix-up after Rankin’s second delivery yields a single for Dhoni, while Singh tidily ships the fourth to mid-wicket for another. Dhoni’s carbon copy from the fifth allows a third, but three from the over will do. 130/4, as the drinks arrive – it’s still in the high 20s, temperature-wise, in Bangalore, where the time is 9pm. Singh 24, Dhoni 15.
31st over: Dockrell’s seventh over is one he’d prefer to forget. He offers: single, dot, single, single, two, and two (almost four) for Singh. Some good work undone, but India still back on 127/4 – and they’d like to be better off than that.
30th over: Mike Atherton, in the commentary box, is full of praise for Porterfield’s fielding arrangements – there’s little room for the Indian batsmen to find breathing space. Rankin’s first two are unplayable; his third is a high (but legal) bouncer; the fourth is a slight out-swinger; the fifth bounces again and the sixth is dead straight. Rankin’s first maiden of the day, and India have scored just four in three overs. 120/4.
29th over: White’s deliveries remain a touch on the short side – and a little slow, allowing batsmen time to shape up for swings – but Porterfield’s arrangements stop major scoring. Singles on deliveries one and five, but nothing more again. 120/4.
28th over: Rankin gives up singles on the second (well struck by Singh) and third (a short one for Dhoni). Porterfield, who is constantly tinkering with the outfield arrangements, keeps rotating positions and is rewarded as India fail to add anything further. 118/4.
27th over: Andrew White’s deliveries, by contrast, are all a little short and the batsmen take three long strokes for three singles. The fourth is plumb and stops any major attacks, but captain Dhoni takes the initiative with a firm four to put his side at 116/4.
26th over: Rankin returns, and his first four deliveries to Dhoni yield nothing before a firm swipe at the fifth yields a double. That’s all the hosts will get, though. 109/4.
25th over: Paul Stirling comes in for Stirling again, and throws two dot balls. “Run ‘em out, boys, run ‘em out!!,” Irish captain William Porterfield roars to his charges. Dhoni grabs a single for the third, and Yuvraj Singh ruins an overwise great over by scooping four from the final delivery. 107/4.
Dirk Kuyt has gotten his hat-trick at Anfield – Edwin van der Sar spilled a free kick, and Kuyt was there to put Liverpool 3-0 up against United.
24th over: Back comes Andrew White, whose second delivery is taken by Kohli to bring up the Indian century. The fourth delivery is firmly struck by Singh… but Kohli is run out! Singh calls for a run, then backtracks, leaving Kohli in no-man’s-land! That’s a big wicket for Ireland to take. 100/4 after 23.4… Singh takes a single from the fifth, and the new man – captain MS Dhoni – another from the sixth. 102/4.
India’s run rate thus far is 4.3 per over, when the required rate is 4.03. While this might seem like they’re ahead of target – which, of course, they are – the chasing team will always need to try and outstrip the target, because the inevitable loss of wickets means that weaker batsmen, put further down the list, come into play.
23rd over: Dockrell yields singles with deliveries two, four, five and six. 99/3
22nd over: Stirling’s first three are all beautiful, right down the middle and perfectly lengthened. The fourth allows Singh a single, while Kohli’s firm sweeps at the fourth and fifth – with the deliveries a little too short – yield another two each. 95/3.
21st over: Out comes Yuvraj Singh, who has already done enough for India’s cause with his five wickets this morning. Singh takes a single from the third ball of the over – and Kohli’s reply to the fourth only just evades Porterfield at mid-wicket. A final single leaves it at 90/3. Hawk-Eye has shown, by the way, that the verdict on Tendulkar was perfect.
20.1: Dockrell returns – he’s given 14 runs in his four overs thus far, but is yet to take a wicket… until now! TENDULKAR IS GONE! He’s been given lbw! India decide against looking for a referral, happy to keep them in the bank. That was a wonderful out-swinging delivery from Dockrell, and Tendulkar exposed himself. Breaking that partnership is great news for Ireland. 87/3 after 20.1.
20th over: A change in bowling – Kevin O’Brien, a man know better for his exploits with the bat – and for his temporarily pink hair – than the bowl, is inserted. His first four are singles, and then two more dots. Four-per-over is enough for both sides – Ireland will happily restrict India’s better batsmen to such a rate, while India will be confident that the occasional boundary will put them clear. 87/2.
19th over: Stirling returns: two dots, followed by four sweetly-taken singles. That’s Tendulkar on 36 now, and Kohli on 29. 83/2.
18th over: That wily Tendulkar. After Kohli’s single puts him on strike, White’s delivery is expertly pivoted to the rear leg-side for four. Three more singles follow before White forces a dot from Kohli. An expensive over, putting India eight closer to home. 79/2.
17th over: That’s better from Stirling. His length has, well, lengthened – and the third delivery has a vicious in-swing that very nearly caught Kohli out. Though India’s striking is still clean, Ireland’s fielding is restricting them only to occasional singles – just the two this time. 71/2.
16th over: Dockrell is pulled back into reserve, with Andrew White filling the gap. His deliveries are fine, though Tendulkar – as he does – finds the space for a single on the third, and Kohli likewise on the fourth. The final delivery is also wrung for all it can be, Tendulkar taking another single to put himself on 27, and Kohli on 24. 69/2.
15th over: Stirling will continue: single, wide, single, dot, single, dot, dot. Four conceded. Ireland could use a wicket now, before India’s partnership builds up some steam. 66/2.
14th over: Porterfield has put Dockrell back in, at the opposite end, obviously wanting to give Mooney a second chance later. Singles on balls numbers two and three; the sixth is hit airborne by Tendulkar but only gains one. Three more to the hosts. 62/2.
It’s 2-0 at Anfield: Kuyt again with a diving header. 39 minutes gone and Liverpool lead Manchester United 2-0.
13th over: Paul Stirling comes in for Dockrell - but offers what he would himself admit is an atrocious first ball, gratefully bashed away by Kohli for four. Four more singles are given away on the next five balls – Stirling is pitching short, allowing the Indians the space to swing. 59/2.
12th over: John Mooney comes in to bowl, providing relief for the still not-quite-right Johnston. Kohli takes four from the first and a single on the third; Tendulkar will settle for a single on fifth, and Kohli another on the sixth. Seven off Mooney’s first over, 51/2.
Dirk Kuyt has stolen a perfectly good goal from Luis Suarez at Anfield, by the by. Suarez ran to Manchester United’s goal-line, rounded four, and slid it in – with Kuyt nipping in to provide an unnecessary final touch. 1-0 to Liverpool, 34 minutes played.
11th over: Dockrell gives Kohli nothing to work with for the first four balls, but Tendulkar forces his partner to take a single on the fifth. That’s all they’ll get, though, in an otherwise fine over from the youngster. 44/2.
10th over: One of the remarkable things about Sachin Tendulkar is how he finds gaps where none exist. He took Johnston’s third delivery and sent it back almost between the bowler’s legs, to the boundary for four. A single follows, after Johnston sprints to deliver – and falls over, landing awkwardly on his left knee, which is revealed to already have heavy strapping. He’ll battle on for now, though – and despite being in obvious discomfort, he delivers two more 125km/h balls conceding another single. 43/2 as the mandatory Indian powerplay ends.
AT ANFIELD, Fabio Aurelio is injured – “again”, as office-bound Liverpool fan Hugh O’Connell describes it.
9th over: You might think this is bias, but Virat Kohli is lucky to pick off a four there – he didn’t even know what exactly he was doing on Dockrell’s third delivery, and the home crowd were pleasantly surprised to see the ball creep to the rear boundary. Nothing else, though. 37/2.
8th over: Johnston offers three singles – two to Kohli and one to Tendulkar. After their fantastic first over, the home crowd seem a little… well, baffled. 33/2.
7th over: George Dockrell, all of 18 years old, comes in for Ireland. An Irish World Cup novice, versus India’s legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar. Four for the batsman off the first delivery. Creamed away towards his off-side. Singles from three and four. 30/2.
6th over: In comes Virat Kohli, who is again limited to conservative replies. Great stuff from Johnston, who takes a maiden. 24/2.
5.2: Another wicket!! Johnston gets Gambhir! His delivery is a short-ish one, tempting Gambhir to take a swipe – allowing Alex Cusack to take a firm catch at fine leg. The Indian pundits’ prediction about losing just two wickets… well… India are in the middle of a mandatory batting powerplay, and this isn’t going well for them at all.
5th over: Tendulkar takes a single on Rankin’s second, putting Gambhir back on strike – and allowing him to take a crafty leg-side 180-degree boundary for four, followed by a final single. 24/1.
4th over: Johnston is most certainly on form today. His deliveries are at the perfect length to stop Tendulkar from attacking – and with Sehwag already gone, Tendulkar can’t afford to take many liberties. Johnston’s third delivery is wide, though, meaning an automatic concession. India scrape a single on the fourth, but Gambhir – keeping an eye on the scoring rate – takes a four. 18/1.
3rd over: Rankin’s first two deliveries to Gambhir are mean, veering slightly outward: precisely the type that sends the ball skyward, and into the harms of a fielder, if the batsmen takes the bait. The third goes for a single. Tendulkar can do little with the next two, and finds the space for a single with the last. 12/1.
2nd over: Gautam Gambhir replaces Sehwag, and Johnston’s delivery is plum and gives him little to work with. Six marvellous balls from Johnston, limiting Gambhir to a solitary run on the final delivery. 10/1.
2.1: Here’s Trent Johnston on delivery – and HE’S GOT SEHWAG! That puts the cat among the pigeons!! A beautiful in-swinger caught Sehwag totally off guard, forcing the ball off the leading edge of his bat, and the ball pops back into Johnston’s grateful hands. Just as quickly as Ireland dropped wickets, so too are the hosts falling… India 9/1.
1st over: As with their last two games, Boyd Rankin will open Ireland’s bowling. The first ball is casually dismissed by Virender Sehwag for four. We may not be here long, as the crowd simply erupts. The second delivery goes for a single, bringing Sachin Tendulkar into play, who sends his first ball for four as well. Rankin dots out the over, however, keeping India to 9/0.
1:05pm: The scene at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore looks pretty brilliant. It’s the exact hours of the evening sunset glow, the crowd is packed and in good form, and conditions look awesome. It is, however, still 32.6 degrees Celsius.
India’s run chase – looking for 208 from their 50 overs – will begin shortly.
The Indian TV pundits’ view: Star Cricket’s men-in-chairs were asked whether this innings would be a cakewalk for India, or a potential banana skin. One reckons India will lose a maximum of two wickets on their way to a 208 total, while the other simply says: “Piece of cake”.
These are the same men, we might add, who completely wrote off Ireland’s chances during the innings break exactly 96 hours ago. Clutching at straws? Us? Nooooo.
12:55pm: India’s innings will be under floodlights, as evening sets in in Bangalore – it’s almost 6:30pm there right now.
12:45pm: Here are India’s batsmen, and their one-day averages: Sachin Tendulkar, 45; Virender Sehwag, 35; Gautam Gambhir, 41; Virat Kohli, 48; Yuhrav Singh, 37; MS Dhoni, 49; Yusuf Pathan, 31; Harbhajan Singh, 13; Piyush Chawla, 5; Zaheer Khan, 13; Munaf Patel, 8.
That’s a combined average of 325. Gulp.
Yuvraj Singh’s reaction can be distilled down to the following: “Yeah, that went well, things look good.”
So, that’s that for Ireland – a poor start, losing two batsmen nside three overs, and Ireland have Niall O’Brien and William Porterfield to thank for still having any chance at all.
Star of the show for the hosts is undoubtedly Yuvraj Singh – his ten overs, the maximum one man is allowed to bowl, saw him take five wickets with just 31 runs conceded. Zaheer Khan chipped in, too, with three wickets for 30 runs in nine overs.
There’ll be a half-hour break before the Indian innings – and the home side will be heavily favoured to claim victory, with bookmakers offering up to 16/1 on an Irish victory. (You can get 32 on Betfair if you’re interested!)
48th over: Oof! Patel bowls to Johnston, who gives his strike such loftiness that it really ought to be caught – but India, apparently non-plussed about finishing Ireland off, don’t appear terribly fussed about chasing it. Johnston survives. He takes three from the first two balls. Rankin takes a firm swipe at the first arrival and makes a single; Johnston takes two from the fourth.
The fifth delivery strikes Johnston’s legs, and he’s given out… it’s reviewed, of course, but Hawk-Eye sends it back downstairs, the decision is upheld, and Ireland finish up for 207.
47th over: Zaheer Khan offers Dockrell a single, and three balls later Johnston batters one over Khan’s head for another four – that brings up Ireland’s 200, a big psychological milestone. There’s a big appeal on the very next ball for Johnston, who India reckon was lbw when he took the single… but Hawk-Eye says the pitch wasn’t in line with the stumps, and Johnston survives. No such luck for Dockrell, though, who is brilliantly caught by Dhoni from the final delivery of the over. Dockrell is out for 3, Ireland are 201/9, and Boyd Rankin will come in for the last three overs.
England have (just about) beaten South Africa, by the way, in a win which completely opens up the table in Ireland’s Group B.
46th over: Munaf Patel returns to bowl, giving Johnston an opening single. He varies it up against Dockrell, but the 18-year-old Irishman refuses to take the bait, taking a single on the fifth only when totally safe. His 36-year-old colleague Johnston sweeps the final delivery for four. 195/8.
45th over: Ireland take the batting powerplay, looking to help Johnston and Dockrell close out the game. Khan is back on delivery, and concedes singles on the first two before throwing a wide on the third. Johnston takes another single on the fifth. Ireland, one fears, will need much more from Johnston and Dockrell in the bowling stakes than it will in their batting. 188/8.
44th over: The pace seeks to disappear from the game, but India ask for a review on what looks like an innocuous LBW call on Cusack. Hawk-eye says the delivery was in line, but it falls foul of the “2.5 metre rule”. It says that if the ball hits the batsman’s leg padding more than 2.5 metres ahead of the stumps, the Hawk-Eye decision can’t be taken as sacrosanct… and then it’s given out. Cusack is gone for 24. In comes George Dockrell, and Ireland are scraping the metaphorical barrel here in terms of batsmen. He closes it out without score. 184/8 - and Yuvraj Singh has taken five of those wickets.
43rd over: Cusack takes a single from Khan’s opener, and Johnston opens his account with another from Khan’s third. Cusack sweeps another from the fourth. 178/7.
42nd over: Cusack seems to have Yuvraj Singh sussed out a little now; he and Mooney take singles on the second, third and fourth. Oh, commentator’s curse! After an eternity, Mooney is given out lbw on the fifth ball. He appeals, and Hawk-Eye says… he’s just about out. The TV umpire sends the decision back to the field, and the earlier call is upheld – Mooney out for 5. Trent Johnston comes in and Ireland need him to settle the ship – he defends the first. The replays show that wow, that was a close call – unlucky for Mooney. 178/7.
41st over: Back comes Zaheer Khan, who took the two early wickets to set India on their way. His first sees Cusack nab a single, but it’s slim pickings for the rest – Mooney manages two on the final ball to keep the scoreboard, as they say, ‘ticking over’. 175/6.
40th over: Yuvraj is back, and Cusack ups the stakes by immediately taking four. Singh, in response, tries to catch him out on the third, but Cusack’s leg-side sweep just evades him for a single. Mooney replies in kind. Now we have a shout – Dhoni wants to be sure that Cusack’s foot is behind the line when he is stumped, but he’ll be alright. Cusack, out of spite, takes a single from the last. 172/6.
39th over: In comes the veteran Harbhajan Singh, who forces Mooney into retreat, bowling a maiden (that’s six balls without score). 165/6.
38th over: John Mooney opens his account with a single on 37.4, and Alex Cusack hits a high airborne delivery on the sixth to take four – the first Yuvraj Singh has conceded on a great day for the 29-year-old. He has given up just 18 runs from seven overs. 165/6.
37.1 – Porterfield is gone! There must have been something in the water. Porterfield gives Singh’s delivery a great strike, and is desperately unlucky to find Harbhajan Singh right in the firing line. He’s gone for a great, innings-saving 75. In comes John Mooney, who scored the winning runs here on Wednesday.
37th over: Copy-and-paste time: Chawla gives Porterfield a single on his first delivery. Cusack, meanwhile, profits from a generous delivery to take a four on the second. The third, though, is a vicious googly and only just misses the stumps. In response, Cusack tears lumps from the fourth and it takes two fielders to stop it sneaking out for four – three will suffice. Porterfield takes another single from the last, and Ireland will be happy to take nine from that over. 160/5 - and time for some drinks. It’s 34 degrees celsius in Bangalore today.
36th over: It’s like the two bowlers out there right now are Ireland’s yin and yang. From Chawla, who has been generous, we go back to Yuvraj Singh who has taken two wickets, and conceded just 12 runs in his five overs thus far. Porterfield takes an opening single but Cusack – fully aware of his luck on arrival – dots out the rest. 151/5.
35th over: Chawla gives Porterfield an opening single and Cusack is back on strike, getting off the mark with a single of his own from the fourth. Porterfield returns with another on the fifth – bringing up the 150 – and the umpire dismisses a half-hearted lbw appeal for Cusack on the final ball. 150/5.
34th over: Getaway for Alex Cusack – he narrowly escapes being run out as he retreats on his first ball, and only just escapes when Singh drops another chance to catch him. 147/5.
33.4: Yuvraj Singh bowls and catches Kevin O’Brien. Oh dear, oh dear – Ireland could have done without that. Finally, India’s tactic of bowling straight and long reaps its reward: O’Brien is unable to do anything but return it plum to the bowler, who catches and skips away with joy. O’Brien goes for 9 and in comes Alex Cusack.
33rd over: Chawla opens with a double to Porterfield, but there is some sign of menace in his fourth delivery which threatens to take a shaving off Porterfield’s bat. He takes a single on the fifth, and O’Brien’s firm thwack to leg side on the last ball gives him his first four of the day. 146/4.
32nd over: Yuvraj Singh gives up nice singles on 1, 3 and 4. O’Brien, looking to impose himself, takes a decent whack at the final delivery but it can only make two. One senses the wind is out of Ireland’s sails now. 139/4.
31st over: Chawla is back! Hooray! He’s tightened up the purse strings, though, giving up mere singles on balls 1, 2 and 4. 134/4.
30th over: So how will Kevin O’Brien fare? He takes a single off his third ball, the fourth of the over. Porterfield closes similarly. India, to their credit, have turned the screw on this Irish innings. 131/4.
29.1: White is gone! That is a great delivery from Yuvraj Singh. His delivery takes the thinnest of slices off the outside of White’s bat, and gets lofted into the grateful arms of Dhoni behind him. 129/4 – and in comes ‘the Ginger Bradman’, Kevin O’Brien.
29th over: As Ireland pick up the pieces and try to get motoring again, Harbhajan Singh concedes singles on the first two, before White takes two – and almost a boundary – with a deft 180-degree swoop. 129/3.
28th over: So how will Ireland cope now that the 113-strong partnership is broken up? Alright-ish. Yuvraj Singh offers Porterfield a mere single on the second, and new man White – whose average one-day innings is a mere 19 – opens his account off the last ball. 124/3.
27th over: You jinxed it, Ciaran Murphy. Smart Indian fielding gets Niall O’Brien run out for 46 – just! – on the fifth ball. Quick reflexes there by the captain Dhoni at wicketkeeper, to sneak out the elder O’Brien brother. In comes Andrew White to close it out. 122/3.
On The Twitter: Ciaran Murphy reckons this partnership is “looking so comfortable we may not even need the Ginger bradman’s assistance…” – true as that might be, Niall O’Brien has a similar plum-looking hairline to that of his brother.
26th over: Here’s a new face – India’s Yuvraj Singh takes over bowling duties, and O’Brien takes a single from the first (in spite of shouts to seek a second) and Porterfield another from the last. Ireland, from this biased commentator’s viewpoint, have done well here: India clearly went out with the intention of frustrating Ireland into recklessness, but in refusing to take the bait Ireland have coaxed their hosts into some shabbiness of their own. 120/2.
So – we’re halfway through the Irish batting and the recovery, though slow-paced, has been welcome. Ireland, don’t forget, were 9/2 very early on and a total collapse would not have been unexpected; the elder O’Brien and captain Porterfield have done brilliantly to steer Ireland’s ship back into calmer waters.
25th over: Here’s Singh again. He gives Porterfield a long single on the first, O’Brien a short one on the third, and Porterfield a nice, sturdy four on the fourth. A single brings him to 57, and another brings O’Brien to 44 as Ireland reach 118/2.
24th over: O’Brien takes a single, and Porterfield – getting into the mood – takes his 50 as Chawla leaves him an airborne shot to chalk up another boundary for four. Chawla’s losing it: the third, fourth and sixth deliveries are all wide, and his fifth is a no ball. Four runs given away for nothing, and Bangalore starts booing – his four overs have cost 34 runs. 110/2.
23rd over: BIFF! Porterfield batters the opener to offside for four, and takes a single after missing on the third. O’Brien takes another four at third man, and this is another expensive over, with O’Brien getting the single on the final delivery to bring up the ton. 100/2.
22nd over: Chawla – God love him – has O’Brien sweep a single from the third, Porterfield drive another on the fourth, and O’Brien sweep a further two on the fifth. The young Indian bowler is struggle to find his groove, as Ireland make it to 90/2. It’s now almost 20 overs since India took a wicket and the home crowd are beginning to get a touch antsy.
21st over: Pathan gives Porterfield a double on the opener – a firm sweep across the captain’s lap – and a single on his third. O’Brien takes a single to mid-wicket on the fifth. 86/2.
20th over: Chawla comes back in and clamps down: he gives Porterfield a single on the first, and O’Brien another on the fourth, before Porterfield swats one to off-side for two on the fifth and another single on the sixth. The run rate is still poor, but Ireland are putting their heels in at 82/2.
19th over: Pathan concedes singles on 1, 4, 5 and 6. 77/2.
In the comments box, Cully asks: “How does a powerplay work?” A powerplay lasts for five overs, and basically requires the fielding team to put a disproportionate amount of their players closer to the wicket. The fielding team will use theirs whenever they think they have weak batsmen at the crease – it means they’ll have a lesser chance of sneaking a ball through. The batting team will call one when they have more hard-hitting batsmen out there, because it means they can hit with more abandon. Each side gets one powerplay per inning, and each powerplay lasts for five overs. (There’s an additional mandatory ten-over one to kick things off, helping to get the batting team off the mark.)
A question for you: Where were you when you heard about Ireland’s victory over England in midweek? Your thoughts in the comments box, or via the above means, thanking you.
18th over: In comes the 22-year-old spinner Piyush Chawla, but his first effort allows Porterfield a single to bring up the 50 partnership. O’Brien takes one from the second, and – jackpot! – the third ball goes for four, before being declared a no ball – Chawla over-stepped. Porterfield wallops the free hit over mid-wicket on the leg side for six! Two singles at the end make Chawla’s first over an expensive one. Ireland take 15 to bring up 73/2.
17th over: Four for Porterfield off Pathan’s opener, and a single to off-side from the third. O’Brien takes a quick single, and Porterfield another from the final offering. 58/2, and the visitors are beginning to up the ante ever so slightly.
16th over: If Singh keeps up the pattern of conservative bowling, O’Brien will keep up his habit of taking a single from the second delivery. Porterfield sends him back with a single of his own, and O’Brien takes a double from the fifth ball to bring up a hard-fought half-century. 51/2.
15th over: Pathan returns, offering O’Brien a single from the second ball. Porterfield again chances his arm on the fifth, going airborne for two. India’s powerplay didn’t really make much of an impact. The Indian commentary team reckon their side look tired, exhausted after a lengthy season that included a mammoth tour of Australia. 47/2.
14th over: Slow and steady. Slow and steady. Singh maintains the status quo, allowing singles on balls 2, 3 and 4, before O’Brien sneaks another at offside. At 44/2, Ireland are obviously keen merely to stem the flow of wickets for now, sacrificing a run rate for stability.
13th over: Clearly the Irish batsmen have decided to keep O’Brien on strike whenever possible. His single at the end of the 12th kept him in the firing line; he takes a boundary from Patel’s opener, and a single on the next. He and Porterfield take one each from the next three balls, and O’Brien closes out to leave Porterfield on strike. 40/2.
In Chennai, meanwhile, England are making a game of it against South Africa – having been bowled out for the modest 171, they’ve kept SA down to 85/3 after 21 overs.
12th over: Keeping it steady, Munaf Patel goes slow, pitching the side’s first wide on his second delivery. O’Brien takes two off the free ball, and closes out the over with a conservative single off the final delivery. 32/2.
11th over: India sense that they can make inroad here and have opted to take the bowling powerplay – meaning India will make do with just two fielders outside the inner circle. O’Brien grabs a single off Patel’s first offering; Porterfield defends the rest. 28/2.
10th over: O’Brien’s single at the end of the ninth over keeps him on strike, but Harbhajan Singh keeps him muted, ultimately conceding a single on the fifth delivery. Porterfield dots the last, ending the mandatory batting powerplay. Ireland have settled, but would have liked to have done better. 27/2.
9th over: Zaheer Khan takes over for his fifth over, but – as with his colleagues – decides to opt for a more reserved style, mixing length but not making it too difficult for O’Brien to cope. Eventually the fourth delivery sneaks to the boundary – which brings up a nice accolade: he is only the third Irish batsman, after Porterfield and his brother Kevin O’Brien, to score 1,000 runs in one-day games for Ireland. He closes with a single. 26/2.
8th over: The aforementioned Singh comes in to flex his triceps. O’Brien takes a single off his third, and Porterfield – again – is given little to work with. 21/2.
7th over: Niall O’Brien takes 1 from Khan’s second delivery, and could have made it more but Harbhajan Singh slid brilliantly to keep the ball close by. Porterfield, apparently getting bored with full-ball deliveries, takes a vicious swipe at the fourth and sends it to the boundary. 20/2.
The cameras are panning around the crowd, and let’s just put it this way: there are more in Bangalore today than there were on Wednesday. Many, many more.
6th over: Pathan’s second delivery to Porterfield is caught at a strange airborne angle but the Irish captain escapes when there’s nobody on off-side to clean up. He takes 1, before O’Brien grabs 2 on the third delivery and another one on the fifth. Ireland 15/2.
5th over: Khan is back, bowling to O’Brien who swipes the first four away, who conservatively opts not to try and squeeze in any runs – mindful, perhaps, of how his brother was eventually run out for 113 on Wednesday when to score 2 where only 1 was available. All six balls are similarly dismissed, with two maidens in a row keeping it at 11/2.
4th over: Yusuf Pathan comes into attack and immediately shows us what he’s made of, putting in some wicked spin on his deliveries to Porterfield. He bowls a maiden with his first six balls, keeping the score at 11/2.
3rd over: Ed Joyce gets his innings underway, just evading the grasp of the fielder to make four… and then disaster! Khan’s bowl strikes inside edge and Joyce is neatly taken by Dhoni at wicketkeeper. Ireland, all of a sudden, are on their fourth batsman. Niall O’Brien emerges to close out the over, scoring two leg byes to get himself underway. Ireland 11/2.
2nd over: A dot for Porterfield before a fine four leaves Munaf Patel scratching his head. Patel ups his game with four solid dot balls to close out the over at 5/1.
So, for the second game running, third batsman Ed Joyce is summoned in the first over. He defends the first two balls to close out the over, at 1/1.
1st over: An early wicket! I was about to type that Porterfield had had an early let-off – his innings lasted for just one ball on Wednesday, and it looked like it was done after three this time but he was dropped in outfield – scoring Ireland’s first in the process.
No such luck for Paul Stirling, though – he is bowled out, brilliantly it must be said, by Zaheer Khan on his first ball, and Ireland yet again make it tough for themselves. Ireland 1/1.
The weather, to be fair, looks epic. Ireland’s first batsmen will be captain William Portferfield – who’ll hope to improve on Wednesday, when he was bowled out for the first ball, and Paul Stirling who took 32. The first bowler is Zaheer Khan, whose first pitch is deftly struck dead by Porterfield.
Anthem time! Ireland’s Call sounds like it’s coming from a Casio keyboard; Jana Gana Mana sounds altogether more emphatic.
The Indian TV view: India should have batted first, they reckon. If you win the toss, and the pitch is one that lends itself to allow high scoring, then why not use your star batsmen to put up a score of 300+ and then bowl Ireland out?
The logic of the Indian team must be, they have concluded, that they’re more worried about making sure they win than improving their average run rate. Which, to be fair, is a nice compliment.
Team news: there is one change to the Ireland side. While there is no return for Andre Botha – who injured himself in the warm-up on Wednesday – there is a recall for Andrew White, who comes in at number five, with Gary Wilson making way.
Other than that, there’s only the relatively cosmetic change of Alex Cusack and Kevin O’Brien switching order – Cusack goes in at six, and O’Brien at seven.
- Ireland: Porterfield (c), Stirling, Joyce, N O’Brien (wk), White, Cusack, K O’Brien, Mooney, Johnston, Dockrell, Rankin
- India: Tendulkar, Sehwag, Kohli, Y Singh, Dhoni (c, wk), Pathan, H Singh, Chawla, Khan, Patel.
The toss: Despite the pitch in Bangalore apparently looking as promising as it had done in Wednesday, when both Ireland and England put up decent scores, India have won the toss and chosen to put Ireland in to bat first.
Them English ones, ‘wot we beat on Wednesday, are also playing their first game since That Game Where We Beat Them today – and they look like they’re taking, as one might put it, a hell of a beating.
It seems to be a slow wicket in Chennai but England were bowled all out for 171 after 45.4 overs, with South Africa currently 35 without loss after 8. It would appear another defeat is on the cards for the English.
Good morning. We’re not in Bangalore, it’s not really hot, and our eardrums aren’t being slaughtered by the cheers of a wonderfully enthusiastic home crowd.
Instead, it’s a bit overcast, and we’re in Dublin city centre in front of a telly and a computer – but no matter how many thousands of miles we are from Bangalore – 5,282 air miles, we’re told – it’s difficult not to get caught up in the enthusiasm and joy of it all.
It’s not the fact that we beat England – it’s the fact we beat anyone at all. There’s nothing better in sport than an underdog story – FA Cup, anyone? – and when it’s in the proportion of minnows like Ireland overcoming the might of England, it becomes a fairytale about how sport, like nothing else, infuses us all with the joy of hope.
Ireland played the game of their lives on Wednesday, and while it would be foolishly naive to expect similar wonders today (we’re 12/1 with the bookies) the fact that Ireland are going into this game being feared – feared! – by their hosts, the mighty India, is something to celebrate.
So it’ll be a good day, whatever happens – so do get in touch with us via the means listed above, and we’ll bring you the team details shortly. ahead of the first ball being bowled at 9am.
(Here, by the way, is the final over from the England game. Y’know, just because.)