Cricket World Cup 2015: Ireland face tougher qualification test after India defeat
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Cricket World Cup 2015: Ireland face tougher qualification test after India defeat

IRELAND's chances of qualifying for the World Cup quarter-finals have been dealt a blow, after they suffered an eight-wicket defeat by India at Seddon Park, Hamilton. 

After an initial strong start from openers captain William Porterfield (67) and Paul Stirling (42), Ireland were dismissed for 259 with an over to spare.

Stirling then fell to Ashwin in the 15th over, ending the partnership on 89 before Ed Joyce (2) fell to Suresh Raina, as India’s spinners restricted Ireland’s top-order batsman.

Ireland were left 171-3 heading into the batting powerplay at 35 overs.

Andrew Balbirnie’s 24 and Niall O’Brien on 75 led Ireland to an improved scoring rate but but Kevin O’Brien, Gary Wilson, Stuart Thompson and George Dockrell were unable to reach double figures.

John Mooney (12, not out) and Alex Cusack (11) partnered well in the final overs, before Cusack fell the penultimate over with the score at 259.

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When India took to bat, Rohit Sharma (64) and Shikhar Dhawan (100) led the run chase with an impressive 73-0 in the opening powerplay.

Ireland missed two important chances, Dhawan being dropped by Mooney on 5 during his own over, and on 8 by Porterfield.

Sharma struck 50 and Dhawan secured his eighth one-day international century off 84 deliveries, as they delivered a 150-run partnership, before both falling to Thompson.

Virat Kohli (44) and Ajinkar Rayane (33) stepped up to the crease and added the required 70 runs to seal victory over Ireland.

While India now top Pool B, Porterfield’s team need to get at least a point from their final game with Pakistan on Sunday in order to progress to the quarter-finals.