Led by a world record One Day International (ODI) opening stand between John Campbell and Shai Hope, the West Indies romped to an emphatic 196-run win over Ireland in the first match of the Tri-Nation series here at the Clontarf Cricket Club Sunday.
Campbell, who scored 179 and Hope who made 170, added 365 runs for the first wicket to help propel the West Indies to 381 for three, their second highest ever ODI total.
Ireland never threatened their mammoth target, and once they were reduced to 21 for three early on, eventually folded for just 185 with offspinner Ashley Nurse being the main destroyer with four wickets.
But the day belonged to the two 25-year-old batsmen who set a number of records during their historic partnership.
They broke the previous highest ODI opening stand of 304 between Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq set last year.
They also became the second set of openers behind New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum and James Marshall to both score 150 in an ODI.
Campbell and Hope also came agonisingly close to posting the highest ever partnership in ODIs, but fell just short of the 372 put on by fellow West Indians Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels four years ago.
And had they batted out the 17 balls remaining prior to Campbell’s dismissal, they would have become the first set of ODI openers to bat through the entire first innings of an ODI.
In the absence of Evin Lewis and Chris Gayle who are both still in the IPL, Campbell took full advantage of the opportunity to open the batting.
With no real threats, Ireland’s bowlers were put to the sword by Campbell and Hope.
Apart from a few anxious moments courtesy of opening bowlers Tim Murtagh and Mark Adair, the two West Indies batsman completely dominated play.
They scored just 37 runs from the first 10 overs, but then motored along, adding 222 runs in the next 30 overs and 106 runs from the final 44 deliveries they faced.
Adair went for 21 in the 41st over, George Dockrell for 16 in the 42nd, Josh Little for 16 in the 45th, Adair for 18 in the 46th, and Murtagh for 17 in the 47th.
Campbell was the more aggressive, smashing six sixes and 15 boundaries during his 137-ball knock, while Hope struck 22 boundaries and two sixes in his 152-ball innings.
But in sight of the record Gayle and Samuels set two months ago against England, Campbell was caught by captain William Porterfield when his top-edged shot ballooned to mid off.
It was Ireland’s first ODI wicket in 374 balls.
Hope then followed four runs later, picking out the fielder at deep square leg as the Windies could only muster 16 runs from the final three overs.
In Ireland’s turn at the crease, fast bowlers Kemar Roach and Sheldon Cottrell virtually decided the outcome within the first few overs.
Roach bowled Paul Stirling for a duck and removed Potterfield soon after to leave Ireland 21 for two.
Cottrell then accounted for the wicket of Lorcan Tucker without another run added.
Kevin O’Brien, who topscored with 68 brought some respectability to Ireland’s total, as he teamed up first with Andy Balbirnie to add 68 and then with Gary Wilson, who made 30.
That initial partnership was broken up when Balbirnie was forced to retire hurt on 28 after being struck on the helmet by Shannon Gabriel.
O’Brien then found a willing partner in Wilson and the pair added 63 runs to frustrate the Windies bowlers.
But once Ashley Nurse struck to dismiss O’Brien and claim the first of his four wickets, Ireland’s innings quickly capitulated and they lost their last six wickets for just 32 runs to be bowled out in under 35 overs.
Nurse was the pick of the bowlers ending with 4-51, while Gabriel took 3-44 and Roach 2-28.