Sports Desk: dhakamirror.com
Veteran opener Paul Stirling smashed an unbeaten 66 to propel Ireland into the Twenty20 World Cup Super 12 and eliminate two-time champions West Indies in a shocking upset on Friday.
Gareth Delany took a career-best 3-16 to reduce the Caribbeans to 146-5 before the Irish reached their goal with 15 balls to spare.
Stirling’s 73-run opening stand with Andy Balbirnie supercharged Ireland’s run chase.
Zimbabwe vs. Scotland will decide the final Super 12 spot.
Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, and Kieron Pollard retired, while Andre Russell was overlooked.
They lost by 42 runs to Scotland in their opener before beating Zimbabwe.
Ireland, playing in their seventh consecutive World Cup and having only advanced past the first round once, struck a wall.
The Irish bowlers fired down nine dot balls in their first 15 deliveries after the West Indies won the toss and batted at Bellerive Oval in Hobart.
Kyle Mayers swung at Barry McCarthy’s delivery and was grabbed by Harry Tector.
Johnson Charles hit 4-4-6 off Curtis Campher but sliced to Campher off Simi Singh for 24.
Brandon King, who missed the West Indies’ last game with sickness, was dropped two balls later and hit four boundaries to put them at 67-2 at halftime.
Evin Lewis’ hamstring injury ended a 44-run partnership.
Nicholas Pooran (13) and Rovman Powell (6) fell to King’s (62 not out) excellent onslaught.
In reply, Stirling and Balbirnie blasted 54 off the first five overs with eight fours and four sixes.
Balbirnie was caught by Mayers off Akeal Hosein’s spin in the eighth over, ending a dominating opening stand.
Stirling hit his 21st T20 half-century with another boundary and Lorcan Tucker (45 not out) saw them home.