Between those two moments, separated by two days, Ireland bowled 62.1 overs, conceded 463 runs, and failed to take a single wicket.
The bulk of those 463 runs – 365 of them – came on Sunday, as Campbell and Shai Hope put on the biggest opening partnership in ODI history. They came within seven runs of the biggest ODI partnership for any wicket – a record held by another West Indies pair, Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels. They came within 17 balls of becoming the first opening pair to bat through the entire first innings of an ODI. They did, however, become the second pair of openers – after Brendon McCullum and James Marshall – to both score 150 in an ODI innings.
It left Ireland an improbable 382 to chase, and they didn’t get remotely close. Kemar Roach and Sheldon Cottrell reduced them to 21 for 3, and there was no recovering from there, even if there were a couple of bright partnerships involving Kevin O’Brien, who made 68, first with Andy Balbirnie and then with Gary Wilson. Playing his 100th ODI, Balbirnie had to retire hurt on 28, when a nasty bouncer from Shannon Gabriel hit him on the helmet; he returned later but only added one run to his score.
West Indies’ bowlers presented a much bigger wicket threat than Ireland’s had, Gabriel’s raw pace offering the starkest point of difference; he pinged O’Brien’s helmet too, apart from bagging three wickets. There were also four for the off spinner Ashley Nurse, including one off a dipping off break that spun through the gate to have Barry McCarthy stumped. With the last six wickets adding just 32, Ireland’s innings only lasted 34.4 overs.
Ireland’s assortment of medium-fast seam and honest finger spin must be the least threatening bowling arsenal of all the Full Member teams at the moment, and Campbell and Hope took it apart in an utterly controlled and clinical manner. Watching this, it was hard to believe that these two teams had both been in the same ODI boat, fighting to make the World Cup grade, the last time they met.
Plenty has happened since then, and much of it has been encouraging for West Indies, to the extent that they will be counted among the most dangerous line-ups at the World Cup that they so nearly didn’t qualify for. Today’s partnership didn’t even come from their first-choice opening pair. Campbell, who clattered six sixes in a 137-ball 179, isn’t in the preliminary World Cup squad, and Hope, who stroked a cultured 170 off 152, doesn’t usually open the batting.
Both, though, were too good for Ireland’s modest attack. They were watchful early on, but once they had seen off the initial new-ball nibble – Tim Murtagh and Mark Adair went past the edge on a fair few occasions, with Campbell in particular taking time to get his feet moving – they pretty much did as they pleased.
Summarized scores: West Indies 381 for 3 (Campbell 179, Hope 170, McCarthy 2-76) beat Ireland 185 (O’Brien 68, Nurse 4-51, Gabriel 3-44) by 196 runs