Shikhar Dhawan was the star for India against Ireland © Getty Images
Shikhar Dhawan was the star for India against Ireland © Getty Images

India breezed past Ireland by eight wickets in Match 34 of ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 at Seddon Park, Hamilton. Niall O’Brien led Ireland to 259 but Shikhar Dhawan scored his second century of ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 to rain on his parade. Shiamak Unwalla brings the highlights of the game. Live Scorecard: India vs Ireland, ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Pool B Match 34

1. William Porterfield and Paul Stirling set the tone: The way William Porterfield and Paul Stirling got going, India would have been expecting to chase no less than 300 on a small ground with short boundaries and nothing in it for the pacers. They put on 89 in 15 overs before Stirling was snapped up by Ravichandran Ashwin. Top 10 batsmen in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

2. Niall O’Brien plays a gem: Niall O’Brien started slowly, and scored only two runs off the first 19 balls he faced before hitting his first boundary. He still did not quite get going, and was batting on an edgy 17 off 38 balls. He then cut loose though, and looked set to take Ireland to a big total. His 75 finally came at a run-a-ball, with seven fours and three big sixes. Top 10 bowlers in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

3. Ravichandran Ashwin spins a web: Ireland’s innings can be split into two parts: Before Ashwin and after Ashwin. The pace bowlers were going for plenty when Ashwin was brought on, and immediately slowed the run-rate down. His first eight overs, bowled on the trot, cost him only 19 runs. Though he went for another 19 in his last two, he still went at an overall economy rate of less than four an over. He took two wickets as well. His two wickets were big scalps too: Paul Stirling, and Andy Balbirnie. Top 10 fielders in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

4. Rohit Sharma enters the 4K club: Rohit Sharma scored his 4,000th ODI run when he went past 31. He became the 14th Indian to enter the 4K club. He went on to score 64 off 66 balls and was involved in a match-winning opening stand of 174 as India completed their fifth straight win in the ongoing World Cup. Top 10 wicketkeepers in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

5. Shikhar Dhawan twirls his bat and his moustache: With 333 runs in five games, Shikhar Dhawan is now the second-highest run-scorer of ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, behind only Kumar Sangakkara (372). He scored his second century of the World Cup, and — in his own words — played “creatively.” His 100 came off 85 balls and included 11 fours and five sixes. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Pool-wise Team Standings

6. Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane finish in style: If Dhawan and Rohit were belligerent, Kohli and Rahane added a finesse to the finish that spoke greatly of the talent of India’s batting. Both men played some silken drives, though Kohli was unafraid of playing a few big shots as well. Their unbroken 70-run stand came in just over nine overs, and ensured that India’s already healthy Net Run Rate received a further boost. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: POINTS TABLE

7. MS Dhoni breaks a couple of records: Though he wasn’t required to bat, Dhoni still managed to reach a few milestones as captain. He became India’s most-capped ODI skipper with 175 games as captain. He is now fifth on the list of players who captained their sides the most. He also became India’s most successful ODI captain with 98 wins, and is tied with Stephen Fleming on the list of most successful ODI captains of all time, behind only Ricky Ponting (165) and Allan Border (107). ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: SCHEDULE & MATCH DETAILS

This was India’s ninth win on the trot in World Cup, continuing from the 2011 World Cup. Dhoni broke Sourav Ganguly’s eight-match winning streak in the 2003 World Cup in the process. He is now tied with Clive Lloyd as the captain with the second-most back-to-back World Cup wins. Ricky Ponting is well clear of the others though. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Complete Coverage

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)