|Ground:||Sabina Park, Kingston|
|Scorecard:||West Indies v Ireland|
|Event:||ICC World Cup 2006/07|
DateLine: 23rd March 2007
Shivnarine Chanderpaul collected his sixth one-day International hundred to lead West Indies to a convincing eight-wicket victory (D/L Method) over Ireland in their rain-affected World Cup Group D match on Friday at Sabina Park.
Chanderpaul was undefeated on 102 from 113 balls, as West Indies, chasing a revised target of 190 from 48 overs, struck gold with 59 balls remaining, when Marlon Samuels stroked a waist-high, full toss from Andrew White over the mid-wicket boundary for six.
Both West Indies and Ireland have secured their passes to the Super Eight quarterfinals of the competition, but the outcome of the match was vital, since it allows the World Cup host to carry a two-point bonus into the next stage of the competition.
The victory meant West Indies played unbeaten throughout the group stage and allowed them to top the group with six points, leaving Ireland second on three points, Pakistan third on two points, and Zimbabwe last on one.
Both Pakistan and Zimbabwe have been eliminated from the competition.
West Indies lost Chris Gayle in the fifth over, when he was caught at deep mid off off Dave Langford-Smith for 18.
But left-hander Chanderpaul put the World Cup hosts firmly on course for victory, when he added 119 for the second wicket with West Indies vice-captain Ramnaresh Sarwan, who scored 36 before he was caught at deep midwicket off Kyle McCallan in the 28th over.
To raucous cheering and the pounding music from the public address system, man-of-the-match Chanderpaul reached his landmark when he drove his 108th ball from Andrew White to long-off for a single. He struck four sixes and 10 fours.
When Sarwan was dismissed, Samuels came and played sensibly to ensure West Indies lost no more wickets before ending the match in grand style to a cacophony of noise from a capacity crowd.
Earlier, Ireland, choosing to bat, were restricted to 183 for eight from their rain-reduced allocation of 48 overs, and the target for West Indies was increased under the Duckworth-Lewis Method which is used to readjust totals in weather-affected matches.
Jeremy Bray hit the top score for Ireland of 41 from 72 balls, and Andre Botha gathered 28.
Chris Gayle, Daren Powell, and Dwayne Bravo collected two wickets apiece for West Indies.
West Indies had early success, when William Porterfield was caught at first slip off Daren Powell for a duck in the second over touching a short, rising ball.
Eoin Morgan came and took the sting out of the West Indies attack with a stand of 58 for the second wicket with Bray. Bray was given a reprieve on 34, when he drove Daren Powell straight into the lap of cover fielder Marlon Samuels, who failed to hold, in the 14th over.
West Indies did not have to wait too long for more success though. Morgan was caught at deep fine leg off Powell for 18, when he got carried away, hooked at a short, lifting delivery and his top edge flew almost 50 yards behind the stumps and keeper Denesh Ramdin held a superb running catch.
Two wickets in the space of nine balls further slowed Ireland's progress in the middle of their innings, and left the visitors on 82 for four.
Niall O'Brien was caught behind off Ian Bradshaw for 11 in the 21st over nibbling at a ball moving away, and next over, Bray drove at a slower ball from Jerome Taylor and was caught at mid-off for 41.
Kevin O'Brien arrived to consolidate for Ireland in a partnership of 47 for the fifth wicket with Andre Botha before he swung at a delivery from Gayle and was caught at deep mid wicket for 12 in the 36th over.
Gayle struck again in the 40th over, when Botha sliced a pull, and he was caught at backward point for 28.
Bravo collected the wickets of Andrew White, bowled for 18, and John Mooney, caught behind, for a duck off successive balls after a break for rain.
West Indies will again feature in the opening match of the Super Eight stage of the competition, when they face reigning World champions Australia next Tuesday at Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.
Ireland meet either England or Kenya in their opening Super Eight match next Friday at the Providence Stadium in Guyana.
(Article: Copyright © 2007 AFP)