By Michael Pavitt

India proved too strong for Ireland as they continued their unbeaten record ©ICCIndia overcame Ireland to secure their fifth consecutive victory at the Cricket World Cup in Hamilton, a result that badly dents the hopes of the minnows of reaching the quarter-finals. 

Pursuing a fourth win World Cup which would seal their place in the last eight, the Irish elected to bat first and began in impressive style, with openers William Porterfield and Paul Stirling building a strong foundation to the innings.

The duo were unaffected by the Indian bowling until a mistimed shot by Stirling brought about an end to their partnership and following his dismissal boundaries proved harder to come by.

Porterfield and Niall O'Brien continued to build the Irish total with scores of 67 and 75 respectively, however the Irish lower order where unable to make a substantial contribution to set an imposing total for an Indian team in imperious form throughout Pool B.

Chasing a total of 260 to claim victory, India survived an early scare, after Shikhar Dhawan was dropped by Porterfield despite a spectacular attempt by the fielder.

India celebrate en route to victory over Ireland in Hamilton ©ICCIndia celebrate en route to victory over Ireland in Hamilton ©ICC

Dhawan in combination with Rohit Sharma set about making Porterfield pay for the missed opportunity as the pair moved to 174 before Rohit was bowled by Stuart Thompson, his innings ending on 64.

But the wicket played no major impact on the final outcome as Dhawan reached his century, before being caught by Porterfield, but they continued to cruise to the target with Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane finishing on 44 and 33 not out respectively.

India were already assured of qualification to the last eight of the tournament, but following victory over Ireland sealed top spot in Pool B.

West Indies will be huge favourites to beat winless United Arab Emirates in their concluding game, a result which would see them move ahead of Ireland into the final qualification place.

It means Ireland will almost certainly need to beat Pakistan to continue their progress in the tournament.

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