Cricket World Cup: Irish chase quarter-final clinching win

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There can be no denying that the Associate nations have impressed in varying degrees during the cricket World Cup. Ireland, with their three wins, are at the forefront of that group and can book a spot in the competition’s knockout rounds with one more victory.

Two of their triumphs have come against Test playing nations. With a pair of Full Members awaiting them in Pool B, confidence of advancing from their group for the second time in three tournaments will be high.

Their quest begins against India, themselves seeking one more victory to guarantee top spot in the group and ensure an easier opponent in the quarter final.

Since their winless pre-World Cup tour of Australia morphed into an unbeaten run during the competition, MS Dhoni’s men have catapulted themselves towards the skinny end of the outright-betting market.

Understandably, they are rated as 1/12 favourites to seal a fifth win on the trot against the Irish, but the 7/1 on Will Porterfield’s side cannot be ignored.

They have twice chased down scores of over 275 to win at this tournament and claimed their latest success by batting first against Zimbabwe and making 331.

Against South Africa, the other superpower in Pool B, they lost the toss and were asked to watch as Hashim Amla and co plundered 411.

Key to Indian-bashing, then, is winning the coin flip, at odds 10/11, and batting first. Unquestionably it is with the blade where the Irish are stronger and building a strong total to bowl at is the best policy at Hamilton’s tight ground.

On such a small venue, a good start is key. Thankfully for Porterfield’s men, India have struggled on that front so far.

Opening Indian stands of 34, 9, 11 and 29 make the 5/6 on Ireland beating their opponents first-wicket partnership with a 20.5-run head start a solid punt.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.