Ireland's cricketers are hammered by India

SportBy Kevin Palmer
Shikhar Dhawan hit a century against Ireland
Shikhar Dhawan hit a century against Ireland

Ireland's cricketers were outclassed by a rampant India at the cricket World Cup and now their hopes of a place in the quarter-finals will be decided by Sunday's last Group B game against Pakistan.

India's imperious start to the World Cup continued with a comfortable eight-wicket win over the Irish at Seddon Park in Hamilton, as one of the tournament favourites strolled to victory with plenty to spare.

Ireland made 259 all out batting first, but that was nowhere near enough as the defending champions chased down that total with more than 13 overs to spare.

Shikhar Dhawan led India's run chase with an 85-ball 100, while his opening partner Rohit Sharma made 64. Virat Kohli (44 not out) and Ajinkya Rahane (33no) then saw their side - who had already qualified for the quarter-finals before this match - to a ninth successive World Cup win, dating back to their triumph over West Indies in 2011.

Niall O'Brien top-scored for Ireland with 75, with useful contributions too from openers William Porterfield (67) and Paul Stirling (42) en route to a respectable total - India dismissing their opponents for the fifth straight match at this tournament.

"There are a lot of good things to take," said Ireland captain William Porterfield. 

"We were disappointed to come off having not capitalised on a good situation. You have to give credit to India and they way they came back.

"It was a very good pitch and there wasn't a lot of help for the seamers. We just couldn't kick on like their opening pair did. Ashwin bowled very well. We just lost some wickets in that period. All in all I think we played very well.

"We have put in a lot of yards in the last few weeks. It is all about being fresh for that game [against Pakistan]. It is winner takes all so we need to mentally prepare and be ready. If you can't get up for these games you won't be up for any."

India captain MS Dhoni said: "We've been here four months, the guys put in a lot of effort in the Test series so I knew we had to step up the intensity from the one-day series, and all the boys have done that.

"We're a little jet-lagged after coming from Perth, the boys were a little sleep-deprived so that's another reason this game was important.

"Our bowlers are really doing the job for us, they've stepped up - not just the three fast bowlers, the spinners are complimenting them and when we've used part-timers they've done well."

Ireland will qualify for the last eight of the World Cup if they beat Pakistan or the game is rained off next weekend.