The result may have been inevitable but there was no disgrace in the Ireland performance. The world champions, in pursuit of a modest victory target of 113, won by eight wickets but William Porterfield's confident side kept them out in the field for 15 and a half overs. The game was reduced to 18 overs by rain which delayed the start for 50 minutes but the forecast heavy downpour for the Nottingham area never arrived and the Ireland players were able to test themselves against a full strength India side. They emerged with their heads held high.
They could have made it tougher if the top order had not been blown away by Zaheer Khan, who proved his fitness with four wickets for 19 in three overs but from the perils of 28 for four and 73 for seven, Ireland hit 39 off the last three overs to maintain their record of having reached 100 in every Twenty20 international.
The end of innings hero was Andrew White who was only playing because Trent Johnston was rested ahead of the first of the Super Eight games against New Zealand, back at Trent Bridge on Thursday at 1.30pm. The Instonians all rounder top scored with 29 off 25 balls including the only six of the innings. Indeed, the boundary count doubled in those last three overs, only five coming off the first 15 overs and India, using all their heavy artillery, both pace and spin, proved too hot for the Irish to handle.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni used six bowlers in the first eight overs and the variety did for the top five batsmen, all going inside 9.4 overs with just 48 on the board. Zaheer took the first three in the space of seven balls in his first two overs. First, Jeremy Bray (0) was beaten all ends up by a fast in swinger, then the captain was caught at slip for five and, although Andre Botha survived the hat-trick and then hit eight off three successive balls, he failed to survive the over, giving another catch to Yusuf Pathan at slip.
Botha was the other change from the team that beat Bangladesh to ensure their qualification for the Super Eights, coming in for Niall O'Brien who is still troubled by the ankle injury sustained in Monday's match.
When Kevin O'Brien (2) tried to hit his first ball from slow left armer Pragjan Oyha out of the ground, but missed, it was backs against the wall for Ireland but Gary Wilson was much more positive than on Monday and to good effect. He hit 19 from 21 balls but was bamboozled by Harbhajan Singh's doosra and lost his off stump. John Mooney (19) and White led the recovery and the latter, with Alex Cusack (12 not out) who hit a couple of late boundaries, took 15 off the last over.
A run rate of barely six an over was never going to be a challenge for India but any hopes of rushing to the winning post or doing it in style were restricted by a gutsy fielding performance and determined bowling attack.
Regan West made up for his ridiculous run-out - he failed to ground his bat coming back for a second - with another good spell and he broke the first wicket stand but not before 77 had been scored. Kyle McCallan then claimed the scalp of Dhoni, well caught by Jeremy Bray but Yuvraj could only manage three singles as Rohit Sharma finished the match, the ball after bringing up his 50.
- Jeremy Bray is bowled
- William Porterfield batting
- William Porterfield departs
- Ishant Sharma
- Crowd enjoying the game
- Kevin O'Brien is bowled for two
- Tucked off his legs by Gary Wilson
- Gary Wilson is bowled for 19
- Andrew White gets the stare
- Colourful Indian fan
- Flipped away by Andrew White
- John Mooney
- Hooked six by Andrew White
- Boundary for Alex Cusack
- Andy White top scored with 29
- Kyle McCallan
- Kyle McCallan keeps his eye on the ball
- Indian fan happy
- Kyle McCallan retrieves the ball
- Phil Simmons not happy
- All smiles from Phil Simmons
- Kevin O'Brien
- Boyd Rankin
- Rankin unlucky not to get a wicket
- Good stop by William Porterfield
- Hit away
- Boundary for India
- Regan West bowling
- Niall O'Brien missed the game through injury
- Gary Wilson
- Regan West congratulated
- MS Dhoni comes out to bat
- Great catch by Jeremy Bray to dismiss Dhoni
- Dhoni departs
- Dhoni whips off the bails
- Handshakes all around