Ireland eliminated from World Cup Contention

Ireland Cricket team

Ireland’s 133-run loss to Sri Lanka at the World Cup qualifying event in Zimbabwe has ended their hopes of making the showpiece 50-over tournament in India later this year.

Ireland were dismissed for 192 in response to Sri Lanka’s 325, condemning the men in green to a third successive loss in the qualifying event group stage.

It is the second successive 50-over World Cup Ireland have failed to qualify for, after also missing out on the 2019 tournament in England and Wales when the number of participating teams was cut from 14 to 10.

Ireland’s heavy defeat was enough for Oman to secure a spot in the Super Six stage of the qualifying tournament, despite losing by 76 runs to Scotland in Bulawayo.

Scotland and Sri Lanka join Oman in in reaching the Super Six stage from Group B, while in Group A hosts Zimbabwe are joined by the Netherlands and West Indies.

Only the top two teams that reach the final of the qualifying event will gain entry to the 50-over tournament proper to be held in October and November in India.

A run-a-ball century for Dimuth Karunaratne and five-wicket haul for Wanindu Hasaranga helped Sri Lanka to their massive win.

“It’s been a tough week or so and very disappointing,” Ireland coach Heinrich Malan told reporters after the defeat.

“I don’t think there is one piece where we’ve been poor, there’s a couple of pieces. It will take some time to sink in.”

Ireland had previously lost to Oman by five wickets in their opening fixture, and suffered heartbreak in a one-wicket defeat to Scotland off the final ball following a costly misfield on the boundary earlier in the over.

“We’ve got to be better in most areas. I don’t think we’ve come close to playing the way we’ve wanted to play over the last three games,” Malan added.

“It’s tough because there’s a lot of emotion going around.”

The Scots reached their mammoth total of 320 thanks mainly to the brilliance of Brandon McMullen, who notched a century alongside a healthy contribution from captain Richie Berrington.

Oman’s slow run rate, partnered with Scotland’s regular wicket-taking ability, meant Doug Watson’s men were able to make it three wins from three in qualifying.

Christopher McBride was dismissed lbw by Bilal Khan with just the third ball of the day but McMullen and Matthew Cross put 82 on the board before the latter was clean bowled by Jay Odedra.

Scotland seemingly took the game away from their opponents as McMullen and Berrington crossed a ton partnership and 220 runs exactly were on the board before Oman managed to find their next wicket thanks to a run out that dismissed the skipper. McMullen was next in the hutch with 136 to his name.

Two wickets in an over got rid of Michael Leask and Chris Greaves to give Oman a sniff with Scotland sitting on 262, but 32 from Tomas Mackintosh and 25 from Mark Watt ensured they surpassed 300, giving the chasing side lots of work to do.

Oman were very slow out of the blocks and put on just 25 runs for the opening powerplay – one ball later Kashyap Prajapati was clean bowled by McMullen.

Still, the wicket did not shift Oman into gear and they were soon four down with just 72 scored after Jatinder Singh, Aqib Ilyas and Zeeshan Maqsood lost their wickets.

Mohammad Nadeem and Ayaan Khan soon followed and Shoaib Khan (36) and Naseem Khushi’s (69) late efforts were not enough as Scotland went through with three wins.

Source: Cricket AU

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