Ed Hawkins previews Monday's match at the RPS in Colombo. And there is the potential of a shock as the group stages come to a close.
"In a smash and grab Ireland have the ability to put West Indies under pressure"
Ireland v West Indies
Start time: 15.00
TV: live on Sky Sports 1
Ireland are the best of the 'minnows' - and we include Bangladesh in that - and they have solid players who always put in a shift. The danger men with the bat are Ed Joyce, who played for England in 50-over cricket, the O'Brien brothers, Niall and Kevin, and Paul Stirling.
With the ball pacer Boyd Rankin and spinner George Dockrell are class acts. Both have ambitions to play for England. Will Porterfield, the skipper, is a weak link in the opening berth.
They are no strangers to causing an upset. They stunned England in the last World Cup with a ferocious batting display.
West Indies were at their infuriating worst in a 17-run defeat by Australia. With the bat, hey showed why they have been so well-backed for glory, smashing an impoising 191 from their 20 overs, but then lost all discipline with the ball.
Granted they could count themselves unlucky that rain arrived to make Australia's task a hell of a lot easier, but it looked as though they felt sorry for themselves. There was some dreadful bowling, notably from Ravi Rampaul and Marlon Samuels.
There was not much evidence of smart captaincy from Darren Sammy, even if he did bowl economically. Surely Dwayne Bravo should have bowled earlier and been given two overs?
Venue and conditions
The RPS surface in Colombo looks a goods one for batsmen who like to swing through the line of the ball. Certainly the pitch held no demons for West Indies and Australia hitters on Saturday. But getting long of a first-innings score of 160 is not such a sure thing. The weather is again untrustworthy with thunderstorms and showers likely to cause interruptions and over reductions.
It would be typical of West Indies to bow of of the first tournament they are expected to do well in for years. Despite having the right type of player, it remains doubtful whether they have the discipline. For that reason Ireland are worth an interest at 10.09/1.
The Irish have a chance here, largely because of the potential for rain to come to their aid. Australia looked beaten after West Indies posted a mammoth total. But it is far easier to score at 10 an over for nine overs than it is for nine for 20.
In a smash and grab Ireland have the ability to put West Indies under pressure and so far they have not held up well. West Indies are 1.091/11.
Top Ireland batsman
Kevin O'Brien, who hit the fastest century in World Cup history off 50 balls against England, struck 35 from 29 balls in defeat by Australia in their first match of the tournament. He will be well-supported again. But Niall bats two places higher and might be a better shout.
Top West Indies batsman
Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels were the batsmen who impressed against Australia with half-centuries. Gayle will likely go off not better than 3.55/2.
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