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Cricket World Cup Day 10: Ireland seeking second straight win

| 24.02.2015

Since Ireland set the Associates’ agenda at this World Cup with a thoroughly impressive victory over the West Indies, which proved their argument that the competition’s lesser lights are important, they haven’t played again.

Their humiliated opponents from the Caribbean, on the other hand, have had two chances to get their campaign back on track and have taken them emphatically.

Thumping West Indies defeats of Pakistan and Zimbabwe have almost rendered Ireland’s heroics as ineffective in Pool B, making their battle against fellow Associates UAE key to their quarter-final ambitions.

William Porterfield’s men are the 2/9 favourites for the clash, which is wholly understandable considering their superior tournament pedigree and prior emphatic performance Down Under.

Porterfield, the only member of top order to throw away a start in that West Indies win, needs 18 runs to pass teammate Kevin O’Brien as his country’s leading ODI run-getter. He’s 5/6 to manage over 26.5 this time around.

The UAE, who have never won a World Cup game in their two appearances to date, are available at 10/3 for victory but are unlikely to perforate the Irish’s supreme confidence at the moment.

Everything Ireland have said and done since arriving in the southern hemisphere makes it abundantly clear that they want to send a message to the ICC over their decision to reduce the 2019 tournament to just 10 teams, jeopardising the Associates’ chances of qualification.

So far those non-Test playing nations have followed the Irish lead in that regard and the day’s other all-Associate clash, which pits Afghanistan against Scotland, will continue in that vein.

Afghanistan, who rival Ireland as the strongest Associate, are 8/13 favourites to win, with Scotland 5/4.

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.