Cricket World Cup 2015: Kevin O'Brien eyes 'huge' Ireland opener

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Cricket World Cup 2015: Windies opener key for Ireland - O'Brien

Ireland all-rounder Kevin O'Brien says next Monday's World Cup opener against West Indies will set the tone for their campaign.

The top four sides from each seven-team group will qualify for the quarter-finals of the tournament, which will be held in Australia and New Zealand.

"Most definitely, a quarter-final place is achievable," said O'Brien, 30.

"It would be huge if we can start with a victory against the West Indies."

Ireland's Group B fixtures
DateOpponentVenue
Monday, 16 FebruaryWest IndiesNelson (NZ)
Wednesday, 25 FebruaryUnited Arab EmiratesBrisbane (Aus)
Tuesday, 3 MarchSouth AfricaCanberra (Aus)
Saturday, 7 MarchZimbabweHobart (Aus)
Tuesday, 10 MarchIndiaHamilton (NZ)
Sunday, 15 MarchPakistanAdelaide (Aus)

West Indies pulled out midway through the tour of India in October because of a pay dispute, and experienced all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard were controversially left out of the World Cup squad.

The Windies lost to England by nine wickets in their first warm-up match in Sydney on Monday.

Ireland beat West Indies in a Twenty20 international in Jamaica last February, and Dubliner O'Brien told BBC Sport: "The first game in any tournament is always probably the biggest game.

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"It's going to be a great opportunity for us to start with a victory against the West Indies.

"We've beaten them before and they are obviously in slight turmoil off the pitch with them not picking a couple of their better players.

"Then we play the UAE, who we've played and beaten well over the last four or five years."

In 2011, O'Brien hit the fastest century in World Cup history, off 50 balls, as Ireland shocked England in Bangalore by chasing 328 to win.

"When we won we just jumped around in the changing rooms like mad men, hugging, falling over chairs and everything," said O'Brien.

"If we were to do something similar in this World Cup, it wouldn't be such a shock to the players and we'd be able to back it up with a performance in the next game."

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