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Ireland Target Upset


The men in green will be looking to shock another Test Playing nation here as they take on the West Indies in Mohali.

With 13 professionals in their squad, and a stunning win over England, things have looked up for Ireland this World Cup; one of the few minnow contingents underlining the argument for having less high profile cricketing nations competing in the tournament.

Ireland will give seam bowler Trent Johnston as long as possible to prove his fitness for this fixture. Johnstontook two wickets in five overs before injuring his knee and being unable to bowl again in the five-wicket loss to India.

"He bowled a couple of overs in the nets today. He ran in hard, he is keen to play the game," said Ireland captain William Porterfield. "We will assess his fitness again and take a call on him on the morning of the match.

A win for the West Indies here will be a consolidation as they shift their focus to upcoming fixtures against England and India.

West Indies will arrive at the PCA Stadium riding the momentum of bowling out Bangladesh for 58 on the way to a nine-wicket win in their previous outing. West Indies have won the two previous completed ODIs between these two sides.

It will be a major blow for Ireland if he Johnston out on Friday, as it'll deprive them an experienced player with all-round abilities. Andre Botha missed the India match with a groin strain but could return against the West Indies.

West Indies (possible): 1 Devon Smith, 2 Chris Gayle, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 5 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Devon Thomas (wk), 8 Darren Sammy (capt), 9 Sulieman Benn, 10 Ravi Rampaul, 11 Kemar Roach.

Ireland (possible): 1 William Porterfield, 2 Paul Stirling, 3 Ed Joyce, 4 Niall O'Brien (wk), 5 Andrew White, 6 Kevin O'Brien, 7 Alex Cusack, 8 John Mooney, 9 Nigel Jones/Trent Johnston, 10 George Dockrell, 11 Boyd Rankin.

When quizzed on the pitch conditions earlier today, Daljit Singh, the curator at the PCA Stadium said: "Being a non-India match, some grass has been left on the pitch, giving it a greenish tinge." He added: "The first hour will help fast bowlers, but the batsmen can prosper with time as South Africa showed in the previous match."

For Ireland keep an eye on William Porterfield who made 75 against India, while Kevin O'Brien hit a swashbuckling century in the memorable upset win over England. These two dangermen will need to be at their best if the associates are to stage another upset.

Ed Joyce makes his return to Ireland after a short stint with England. He is a player with a reputation for being solid in the top and middle order, and will do well to anchor Ireland here.

For the once unbeatable West Indies, Sulieman Benn leads the way with four scalps in the West Indies' demolition of Bangladesh. Benn was ably supported by Darren Sammy and Kemar Roach, who took three wickets a piece as the West Indies dismissed Bangladesh cheaply.

On the batting front Darren Bravo is looking the man of the moment, with more and more people comparing his style to that of Brian Lara. He could take this attack apart and finally announce his arrival on the big stage.

The West Indies are third in Group B and will be targeting a win against Ireland, who has become an unlikely contender to snatch fourth place and the final quarter-final berth.

The Irish, while showing glimpses of talent will end up short here. 

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