NELSON, New Zealand _ Ireland captain William Porterfield won the toss Monday and decided to bowl first against the West Indies in their Cricket World Cup match under mostly sunny skies at Saxton Oval.
The Pool B game marks the first appearance of an “Associates,” or second-tier, team in this year’s tournament. Ireland made its inaugural appearance at the World Cup in 2007 and provided one of the biggest upsets in tournament history when it beat 1992 champion Pakistan at Kingston, Jamaica‘s Sabina Park by three wickets _ on St. Patrick’s Day, no less.
In the four matches completed at this year’s World Cup, the team batting first has won each time.
Ireland opted to go with Andy McBrine as a second spinner, while former England player Ed Joyce, 36, who has played for Ireland since 2011 and could be making his last appearance at a World Cup, was also in the lineup Monday for the Irish.
The West Indies, meanwhile, may have seen something different in the pitch, sitting out their top spinner, Suliemann Benn, and going with an all-pace bowling attack.
Ireland: William Porterfield (captain), Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Niall O’Brien, Andy Balbirnie, Gary Wilson, Kevin O’Brien, John Mooney, Max Sorensen, George Dockrell, Andy McBrine.
West Indies: Jason Holder (captain), Chris Gayle, Dwayne Smith, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Denesh Ramdin, Lendl Simmons, Darren Sammy, Andre Russell, Kemar Roach, Jerome Taylor.
Umpires: Richard Illingworth, England, and Bruce Oxenford, Australia.
Third umpire: Chris Gaffaney, New Zealand. Match referee: Chris Broad, England.