Exactly three years ago, during the 34th match of the ICC Cricket World Cup between India and Ireland at Hamilton, Shikhar Dhawan scored his eighth ODI century, his second in the World Cup to earn his fifth ‘Man of the Match’ award in ODIs.
Having won their last match against Zimbabwe by 5 runs at Hobart, William Porterfield, the Irish captain, had won the toss and chose to bat. India, on the other hand, were coming post a 4-wicket victory against West Indies at Perth.
The Irish openers gave their team a brilliant start. As were the expectations, their middle order capitalized on it. Ireland looked set to post a dominating total on the board, but a lower middle order collapse saw them settling for a total which was less for the likes of the Indian batsmen.
Ireland was eventually bundled out on 259 in 49 overs. Niall O’Brien, who came in to bat at No. 4, top-scored with 75 (75). His innings was comprised of seven fours and three sixes. With bowling figures of 9-0-41-3, Mohammad Shami was the pick of the Indian bowlers.
During their chase, India went on off to the best possible start which was aided by John Mooney dropping Dhawan off his bowling as early as in the third over. By the end of 10 overs, India had scored a handsome 73-0. Both Rohit Sharma and Dhawan were scoring at a brisk pace, bringing the required run rate down to the likes of their team.
On the second delivery of the 17th over, with a single off Paul Stirling through the square leg region, Dhawan brought up his half-century. At the halfway mark, India were 175-1, needing 85 runs in the next 25 overs.
On the penultimate delivery of the 27th over, Dhawan brought up his second century of the World Cup, his eighth overall. He eventually got out in the following over, but by that time, he had completed his job. Dhawan ended up scoring 100 (85) with the help of 11 fours & five sixes at a strike rate of 117.64.
Virat Kohli (44*) and Ajinkya Rahane (33*) sealed the chase for India in the 37th over.
Watch the highlights of Dhawan’s innings:
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