Shivnarine Chanderpaul's century inspired West Indies to an eight-wicket victory over fellow Super Eight qualifiers Ireland in Jamaica.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul smashed his sixth one-day international century as the West Indies marched to an eight-wicket victory over Ireland in Jamaica.
The West Indies were set a rain-adjusted target of 190 from 48 overs after an excellent bowling display had restricted Ireland to just 183 for eight.
And the World Cup hosts reached it with 9.5 overs remaining as Chanderpaul struck 10 fours and four sixes en route to an unbeaten 102 from 113 deliveries.
Both the West Indies and Ireland had already qualified for the Super Eight stage – but victory ensures Brian Lara's men carry with them two vital points and a useful run rate.
Ireland had progressed from Group D on the back of a tie with Zimbabwe and shock victory over 1992 champions Pakistan and had beaten the West Indies by six wickets at Stormont in 2004.
But in front of a vociferous Jamaican crowd there were never any signs of a repeat performance as Daren Powell, Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo claimed two wickets apiece.
Opener Jeremy Bray (41) and Middlesex batsman Eoin Morgan (18) did build a solid second-wicket stand of 58 as Ireland recovered from the early loss of William Porterfield.
But the West Indies attack, led by a fierce spell from Powell, began to close off the runs and cranked up the pressure with some tight bowling.
Morgan was the first to crack, top-edging a pull off Powell to be caught brilliantly on the run by wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin.
Niall O'Brien struck two boundaries before Ian Bradshaw, making his first start of the World Cup, tempted him to push outside the off stump and caught the outside edge.
Bray, a centurion in the tie with Zimbabwe, was Ireland's anchor and struck seven boundaries as he reached 41.
He survived a dropped catch by Marlon Samuel when on 34 but was eventually out-foxed by Jerome Taylor's slower ball and drove it straight to mid-off.
Gayle then took charge, conceding just 23 runs in singles from his 10 overs as the West Indies turned the screw.
Kevin O'Brien succumbed to the pressure and was caught at mid-wicket for 17 as he looked to heave Gayle out of the ground.
Andre Botha top-edged an attempted pull, which Ramdin caught in the gully region, leaving Gayle with figures of two for 23.
After the rain interval, Bravo pounced to dislodge Andrew White and then John Mooney in successive balls.
Gayle set about the revised target with a quickfire 18 before holing out to mid-off from a Dave Langford-Smith slower ball.
With Ramnaresh Sarwan struggling for form – he took 30 deliveries to score seven – Chanderpaul took charge.
He raced to a 52-ball half century with four successive boundaries from one Boyd Rankin over and then a delightful straight six off Botha.
Chanderpaul continued in the same vein, dispatching Botha for another maximum, and contributed 80 in the second-wicket partnership of 119 with shots to all corners of Sabina Park .
The stand was ended only when Sarwan was caught in the deep off Kyle McCallan, the most impressive of Ireland's bowlers, for 36.
After a run-a-ball 84, Chanderpaul became a lot more circumspect as his first World Cup century and the West Indies' victory target neared.
A boundary to third man moved him to 99 and Chanderpaul brought up his first World Cup century from 107 deliveries with a simple push to mid-off.
Samuels finished with a flowing 27 not out and seal the victory with a six over mid-wicket.
He’s got Test wickets; now for a Test hundred.
England have remembered normal top-order batting. But when, exactly, did they forget?
No problems for India in Pune.
Another week where cricket did some great numbers. Love this sport.
Sweary Jos gets a fine and a demerit point.
Even its harshest critics can’t complain about the ticket prices (but still will).
It’s the news England feared.