Yuvraj brings down Ireland
India move top of Group B with five-wicket success
Last Updated: March 6, 2011 10:18pm
All-round masterclass: Yuvraj took 5-31 and scored 50 not out
Yuvraj Singh followed his maiden ODI five-wicket haul with a half-century as India earned a five-wicket victory over Ireland in a low-scoring World Cup encounter in Bangalore.
Set a target of 208, India had slipped to 167-5 when captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was dismissed at the start of the 41st over.
But Yusuf Pathan strolled out to join Yuvraj and dispatched his second ball for four and two of the next three for six to settle any nerves in the home camp.
The sixth-wicket duo put on 43 from 35 deliveries to see India across the line with four overs to spare, Yuvraj finishing 50 not out and Yusuf unbeaten on 30 from 24 balls.
Ireland had earlier been grateful for skipper William Porterfield's 75 as they were bowled out for 207 after being asked to bat.
Zaheer Khan (3-30) struck early to remove Paul Stirling (0) and Ed Joyce (4) before Porterfield and Niall O'Brien repaired the early damage with a third-wicket stand of 113.
O'Brien's run out for 46, however, was the start of a collapse that ruined Ireland's hopes of a formidable total.
His younger brother Kevin O'Brien, the hero of the three-wicket win over England at the same venue last Wednesday, was caught-and-bowled for nine, one of five victims for Yuvraj.
Porterfield, who had brought up his fifth ODI half-century from 67 balls, also fell to the part-time left-arm spinner as 13 deliveries of Ireland's 50-over allocation went unused.
Seam bowler Trent Johnston caused problems with the new ball, dismissing Virender Sehwag (5) and Gautam Gambhir (10) to reduce India to 24-2 early in their run chase.
Johnston claimed 2-16 in his five-over opening spell but was unable to bowl again after hurting his knee when falling over in his follow-through.
Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli added 63 in 14.5 overs to put the home side back on course for what appeared a straightforward victory.
But teenage spinner George Dockrell won an lbw verdict against Tendulkar (38), Kohli (34) was run out shortly afterwards and suddenly, with India still 108 short of their target, Ireland sensed the chance for another upset.
Dhoni and Yuvraj, however, had other ideas and took a measured approach during a fifth-wicket stand of 67.
Again Ireland fought back, Dockrell (2-49) pinning Dhoni lbw on the back leg for 34 before Yusuf's big-hitting finally broke the associate nation's resistance.
Yuvraj was able to push a single to bring up his 46th ODI half-century from 75 balls before Yusuf sealed the win with a boundary.
India now sit top of Group B on five points, above England on superior net run-rate having played a game less.