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Chanderpaul powers Windies to top of group
Simon Evans
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March 24, 2007 01:31 IST
Last Updated: March 24, 2007 04:37 IST

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Shivnarine Chanderpaul struck an impressive unbeaten century as World Cup hosts West Indies beat surprise package Ireland by eight wickets in the final Group D match at Sabina Park on Friday.

Ireland scored 183 for eight in 48 overs after rain stopped play and under the Duckworth-Lewis rules West Indies were set a target of 190 which they knocked off comfortably with 9.5 overs to spare.

With both teams having already secured their places in the Super Eights stage, the win allows Brian Lara's men to carry two points with them into the next phase.

Chanderpaul's sixth one day century, his first in a World Cup, included 10 fours and four sixes.

Earlier, Australian-born Jeremy Bray top-scored for Ireland with 41.

After opener William Porterfield was dismissed, caught off Daren Powell without scoring, Bray and Eion Morgan put on a 58-run partnership at a brisk rate -- bringing up the 50 off 62 balls -- although Bray was lucky to be dropped by Marlon Samuels at cover off a lively Powell delivery.

Pace bowler Powell picked up his second wicket of the day when Morgan skied an attempted hook and West Indies wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin sprinted down towards the boundary to take a fine catch at full-stretch.

Niall O'Brien was the caught behind off left-armer Ian Bradshaw -- who had been given the nod ahead of Corey Collymore -- and when Bray went, driving Jerome Taylor straight to sub-fielder Lendl Simmons, Ireland were in trouble at 82 for four.

Kevin O'Brien and Andre Botha steadied the ship taking the total to 129 before O'Brien was caught in the deep by Ramnaresh Sarwan off spinner Chris Gayle.

Gayle and fellow-spinner Samuels had succeeded in slowing down the run-rate though and Ireland needed to put their foot on the accelerator if they were to get a competitive total. 

That goal faded when South-African born Botha skied a catch to Ramdin off Gayle.

Kyle McCallan, skippering the Irish in the absence of the injured Trent Johnston, and Andrew White got their heads down before rain stopped play in the 46th over.

After over an hour off the field, the match was reduced to 48 overs per side and with the third ball back Dwayne Bravo bowled White, out to an odd attempt to play around his pads, and then Bravo claimed John Mooney, caught behind first ball.

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