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Cricket: Ireland hit by Pollard blitz

Kieron Pollard launched a typically brutal late assault to send the West Indies to 275 all out against Ireland after they were asked to bat first in their World Cup match today.

Pollard smashed five sixes in his 94 off 55 balls and Devon Smith recorded his first one-day international century as the West Indies made a late charge after a slow start.

Kevin O'Brien took career-best bowling figures of 4-71 to slow the West Indies after Smith's 107 had inspired a solid start from the Caribbean team, who were without injured opening batsman Chris Gayle.

But Pollard then powered to his best ODI score, sharing an 88-run partnership off 63 balls with Smith on the way, to set Ireland a challenging total in the Group B match.

Smith went to his maiden one-day international century with a scampered single, and hit 11 fours and a six to anchor the West Indies effort before he was bowled by O'Brien.

Pollard went past his previous best score of 62 in 50-over cricket by pummeling eight fours along with his five sixes. He needed just 35 balls for his half-century and eventually fell in the 49th over when Boyd Rankin held a high, swirling catch off bowler John Mooney.

O'Brien had held up the West Indies with two wickets in four balls in the 25th over, despite being earlier launched for a six by Smith off his first ball of the match.

Medium-pacer O'Brien, already Ireland's hero with the bat at the World Cup, forced stand-in opener Shivnarine Chanderpaul to pop up a catch to skipper Porterfield at short cover.

He then knocked over Darren Bravo's middle stump three balls later for the left-handed batsman's first ODI duck in his 17th match.

Ramnaresh Sarwan and Smith combined for a brisk 41-run stand before Sarwan holed out to long-off, only for Pollard to launch his power-hitting onslaught from No5.

He sent O'Brien for two sixes in the 37th over, swinging a length ball over square leg and then thumping another down the ground over long-on.

Three more sixes followed as Pollard powered on, ignoring a mini-collapse by those around him.

O'Brien took two wickets in an over for the second time in the match when he ended Smith's 133-ball stay and captain Darren Sammy was guilty of poor shot selection to be caught at square leg three balls later.

Pollard was finally out six short of a first-ever century in international cricket and Ireland's bowlers and fielders efficiently cleaned up the West Indies tail, taking three wickets for just eight runs after Pollard's dismissal.

After the interval, Ireland's captain William Porterfield and Paul Stirling took to the crease but Stirling was first to be caught after scoring a four.

He was replaced by Ed Joyce and Ireland were 40 for 1 after 10 overs.