Cricket: Ireland chasing West Indies scalp
IRELAND will be looking to beat the West Indies and score a third one-day international victory in the Caribbean when the business end of their spring tour gets underway at Sabina Park today.
It was at the same Jamaican venue that Ireland first grabbed the world's attention with a brilliant three-wicket victory over Pakistan in the 2007 World Cup.
Irish cricket has been on an upward curve ever since and another victory over a Test-playing nation would maintain that momentum as much as any success against the Windies and England in the Twenty20 World Cup, which kicks off in Providence Stadium, Guyana, on April 30.
While the West Indies will start as firm favourites, Ireland can take heart from the absence of star trio Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo, who are contracted to the Indian Premier League.
By contrast, Ireland coach Phil Simmons has all his county players available -- including a fit-again fast bowler Boyd Rankin.
Simmons may utilise the off- spin of batsman Paul Stirling in the 50-over game after his impressive bowling in the T20 format.
IRELAND (from) -- William Porterfield (Gloucestershire, capt), Andre Botha (North County), Peter Connell (North Down), Alex Cusack (Clontarf), George Dockrell (Leinster), Trent Johnston (Railway Union), John Mooney (North County), Kevin O'Brien (Railway Union), Niall O'Brien (Northants, wk), Boyd Rankin (Warwickshire), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), Andrew White (Instonians), Gary Wilson (Surrey).