Ireland fail to revisit heroic heights as Yuvraj's class propels India

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The Independent Online

Ireland could not repeat their heroics of defeating England last week but still put on an impressive display at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium before losing to India by five wickets yesterday.

Kevin O'Brien, the fastest centurion in World Cup history, could only make nine before chipping a catch back to man of the match Yuvraj Singh, who took 5 for 31 - his first five-wicket haul in an ODI - and hit 50 not out.

Ireland were bowled out for 207 in 47.5 overs, and India replied with 210 for 5 in 46 overs to go joint top of Group B. Captain William Porterfield top-scored for Ireland with a cautious 75 in 104 balls.

Left-arm spinner Yuvraj ripped through the Irish middle-order, his wickets including Porterfield and O'Brien, the hero of the England game. Porterfield put on 113 runs for the third wicket with Niall O'Brien (46) but Ireland could not build on that partnership.

Porterfield, who had a reprieve off Zaheer Khan before he had scored, struck six fours and a six before he was caught by Harbhajan Singh in the covers off Yuvraj.

Niall O'Brien, who completed 1,000 runs in ODIs, failed to beat Virat Kohli's throw from cover, and his run out triggered a collapse. Ireland were going well at 122 for 2 in the 27th over at that point, but lost their last eight wickets for 85.

Earlier, Ireland lost two quick wickets to pace bowler Khan after being sent in to bat, and were reduced to 9 for 2 in the third over.

Yusuf Pathan dropped Porterfield at second slip off Khan's third delivery, but with the very next ball Khan bowled Paul Stirling. He then had Ed Joyce caught behind.

The Indian reply did not start fluently either as pace bowler Trent Johnston struck twice before falling on his follow-through and going off with an injury.

Johnston took a return catch off a leading edge from Virender Sehwag when the opener was on five, then had Gautam Gambhir (10), caught by Alex Cusack at backward square-leg as India were reduced to 24 for 2 in the sixth over.

They reached 100 for 4 after losing Sachin Tendulkar (38) and Virat Kohli (34). Then Yuvraj added 67 runs for the fifth wicket with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (34), and 43 for the unbroken sixth with Pathan, who scored 30 in 24 balls including three sixes.