Section: Ireland

Cricket World Cup: Ireland out as Pakistan go through

Ireland were knocked out of the World Cup by Pakistan, who qualified for the quarter-finals with a seven-wicket win.

World Cup Pool B, Adelaide:
Ireland 237 (50 overs): Porterfield 107, Wahab 3-54
Pakistan 241-3 (46.1 overs): Sarfraz 101*, Shehzad 63
Pakistan won by seven wickets

Set 238 to win, Pakistan reached their target with 23 balls to spare thanks to Sarfraz Ahmed’s unbeaten 101 in Adelaide.

Ireland captain William Porterfield earlier made 107, but his wicket triggered a slide to 237 all out.

The Irish finish fifth in Pool B, behind West Indies on net run-rate, while Pakistan go on to meet Australia in Adelaide in the last eight on Friday.

Before the tournament, Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom said it would be a “failure” if Porterfield’s side did not reach the quarter-finals.

But for the third World Cup in succession, the Irish have acquitted themselves well, winning three games and beating two Test-playing sides in West Indies and Zimbabwe. England won only two matches, neither against Test nations.

Indeed, Ireland could have reasonably expected to go through with six points, only for their elimination to come as a result of several factors.

Heavy losses to South Africa and India damaged their net run rate, West Indies earned three big wins to boost theirs, while Pakistan recovered from two opening defeats to claim four successive victories.

This latest win continues the improvement of Misbah-ul-Haq’s men, echoing the Pakistan side that began poorly when the tournament was last held in Australia and New Zealand in 1992, only to go and lift the trophy.

For Ireland, their creditable showing will be used as evidence by those who say the next World Cup should not be cut from its current 14-team format to only 10 sides.

The Irish still have the chance to qualify for that tournament as well as the opportunity to earn Test status through the 2017 Intercontinental Cup.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket World Cup: Ireland dealt qualification blow by India

Ireland’s hopes of reaching the World Cup quarter-finals suffered a blow as India sealed top spot in Pool B with a fifth straight win in the tournament.

Ireland came into the match knowing that a point would see them qualify.

World Cup Pool B, Hamilton:
Ireland 259 (49 overs): N O'Brien 75, Porterfield 67, Shami 3-41
India 260-2 (36.5 overs): Dhawan 100, Rohit Sharma 64
India won by eight wickets

Despite an opening stand of 89 between William Porterfield and Paul Stirling and 75 from Niall O’Brien, their 259 total was never likely to be enough.

So it proved as Shikhar Dhawan (100) and Rohit Sharma (64) helped India to a comfortable eight-wicket victory.

The margin of defeat is a reality check for Ireland, who have performed well above expectation in this tournament, claiming three wins (two against Test-playing nations) to give them six points and genuine hope of reaching the last eight.

They can still do so, but they will need to beat Pakistan in their final pool game or gain a point should the fixture be rained off.

Much like their game with South Africa, in which they conceded 411 runs before being bowled out for 210, the gulf in class between the sides in Hamilton was vast.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket World Cup: Ireland deny Zimbabwe in thriller

Ireland maintained their quest for the World Cup quarter-finals with a tense five-run win over Zimbabwe in Hobart.

World Cup, Pool B, Hobart:
Ireland 331-8 (50 overs): Joyce 112; Chatara 3-61
Zimbabwe 326 (49.3 overs): Taylor 121; Cusack 4-32
Ireland won by five runs

Ed Joyce made 112, while Andy Balbirnie was run out three short of a maiden hundred as Ireland posted 331-8, their highest one-day international total.

Zimbabwe required the highest chase in World Cup history and Brendan Taylor hit four sixes in 121 from 91 balls.

Seven were needed from the final over but the last two wickets fell as the Zimbabweans bowed out of the event.

Ireland next face unbeaten India, who have already qualified, on Tuesday.

The Irish team’s final match is the last of the group fixtures in the tournament, against Pakistan on 15 March, when West Indies face UAE, and is likely to determine which other three sides will advance to the quarter-finals from Pool B.

 Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket World Cup: Ireland edge out UAE

Gary Wilson hit 80 to help Ireland to a nervy two-wicket World Cup win over the United Arab Emirates in Brisbane.

World Cup, Pool B, Brisbane:
UAE 278-9 (50 overs): Shaiman 106, Javed 42, Stirling 2-27
Ireland 279-8 (49.2 overs): Kevin O'Brien 50, Wilson 80, Javed 3-60
Ireland won by two wickets

Shaiman Anwar scored a maiden ODI century as the UAE part-timers hit 147 from their last 15 overs to post 278-9.

They then pegged Ireland back to 97-4, but Kevin O’Brien (50) and Wilson put on 72 from 36 balls for the sixth wicket to help rebuild the innings.

Ireland, who have two wins from their opening two Pool B games, next face South Africa in Canberra on 3 March.

O’Brien and Wilson were both dismissed as William Porterfield’s side closed in on the target, but Brisbane-born Alex Cusack and off-spinner George Dockrell kept their nerve to lead Ireland to victory with just four balls to spare.

World cricket’s governing body the ICC has decided to limit the next World Cup to 10 teams, but two associate sides who may struggle to qualify for the event in England in 2019 arguably played out the most exciting match of the tournament so far, one that was finally settled in the 100th and final over after 557 runs and 17 wickets.

The game ebbed and flowed, with Ireland reducing the UAE to 131-6 in the 35th over, before Shaiman (106 from 83 balls) and Amjad Javed (42 from 35 balls) put on a World Cup record seventh-wicket stand of 107 to set up a challenging total on a turning wicket.

Ireland struggled for any fluency in their reply, until the more expansively minded O’Brien joined Wilson at the wicket in the 39th over with 108 runs still needed.

O’Brien and Wilson’s six-over partnership seemed to turn the match decisively in Ireland’s favour, but when O’Brien, Wilson and John Mooney all fell in the final seven overs, the UAE sensed a first win over Ireland since 2001.

Dockrell and Cusack came together with 12 runs still needed from 15 balls, and after a series of wild swings and unconvincing hacks, the pair finally wrapped up victory in the final over.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket World Cup: Ireland stun West Indies in Nelson

Ireland caused the first shock of the World Cup with a four-wicket triumph against West Indies in their opening Pool B match in New Zealand.

World Cup Pool B, Nelson:
Ireland: 307-6 (45.5 overs): Stirling 92, Joyce 84, Taylor 3-65
West Indies: 304-7 (50 overs): Simmons 102, Dockrell 3-50
Ireland won by four wickets

Lendl Simmons (102) shared 154 with Darren Sammy (89) as the Windies recovered from 87-5 to post 304-7.

But Ireland’s Will Porterfield and Paul Stirling put on 71 and Stirling (92) then shared 106 with Ed Joyce (84).

Niall O’Brien added 79 not out as Ireland won with 25 balls left, their fourth World Cup win over a Test team.

Having beaten Pakistan in their first World Cup in 2007 and England in the 2011 tournament, Ireland were almost considered favourites from the outset at the picturesque venue in Nelson on the south island.

The Windies, winners of the first two World Cups in the 1970s, now languish eighth in the ODI rankings, were skittled for 122 by England in a warm-up match and are rumoured to be in disharmony following the omission of Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo from their squad.

Ireland, ranked 11th, reached the second group stage in 2007 and now have matches against the UAE, South Africa, Zimbabwe, India and Pakistan to try and secure a top-four spot in Pool B and a place in the quarter-finals.

Their intrepid fielding and accurate seam bowling after choosing to field quickly led to two wickets falling in the eighth over.

Big hitting Gayle and Marlon Samuels both launched towering straight sixes before both were dismissed by 22-year-old George Dockrell in the 22nd over, the left-arm spinner securing figures of 3-23 at one point.

Sammy unleashed some innovative strokes, often with ferocious power, in a thrilling partnership with Simmons, who accelerated stylishly as West Indies became the fifth successive team in the tournament to post in excess of 300 when batting first.

But far from overawed, the Irish openers punished some loose bowling in a fluent 13-over stand.

Man-of-the match Stirling hit three sixes in his pugnacious innings and was within eight of his sixth ODI hundred when, suffering from severe cramp, he edged behind in the 28th over with 128 still needed.

With the Windies looking ragged and forlorn, Joyce effortlessly guided the Irish within 32 of the target and despite three wickets in 17 balls, John Mooney, just as he did against England four years ago, struck the winning runs.

Ireland, coached by former West Indies batsman Phil Simmons, uncle of Lendl, next face fellow qualifiers UAE on 25 February.

Read more at BBC Sport