Ireland relieved as results fall their way
Victories for the USA and Hong Kong edge victorious Ireland over World Twenty20 line
Paul Stirling batting against Jersey during the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier at Malahide Cricket Club, Dublin. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho
A quite extraordinary series of results in the final round of Group A games saw Ireland qualify for a fifth straight World Twenty20 finals following the completion of the first stage of the competition in Malahide and Clontarf on Sunday.
Ireland looked after the bit they could control, with a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Jersey, putting an end to a series of defeats to Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong that left John Bracewell’s side facing the long way around to book a place in next year’s finals in India.
John Mooney’s hat-trick, just the fourth by an Ireland player, wrapped up Jersey’s innings for 122 after it had looked to be heading north of 140 after they were well poised on 88 for one in the 14th over.
Paul Stirling got rid of the talented teenager Jonty Jenner for 26 with the first ball of his second over and took a wicket in his remaining two overs to finish with three for 16; Alex Cusack (three for 26) struck twice in an over and Mooney wrapped up the innings with his hat-trick in the final over, Jersey losing nine wickets for 34 runs.
Restored to his opening role, Stirling then took the game to the Jersey attack, hitting 55 from 38 balls before his Middlesex colleague Andrew Balbirnie (32 not out) guided Ireland home with 20 balls to spare.
That was the easy part of the equation, with Ireland then requiring the USA to beat Papua New Guinea in the later game in Malahide and Hong Kong to continue their fine form and beat Namibia in Clontarf.
Hong Kong went and walloped 197 for eight at Castle Avenue, opener Irfan Ahmed hitting a stunning 98 from 55 balls to set up a comfortable 83-run win, while USA’s 147 for six proved too much for PNG, who could only muster 129 for nine.
Despite victory, the USA bow out due to Hong Kong also winning, with Tuesday’s qualifying play-offs in Malahide seeing Hong Kong take on Afghanistan and Netherlands facing Namibia.
Ireland are next in action in Saturday’s semi-finals in Malahide, where they will play the winners of the Netherlands v Namibia game.
WORLD TWENTY20 QUALIFIER GROUP A
(at Malahide): Ireland won the toss and fielded.
P Gough c Poynter b Cusack 42
E Farley c K O’Brien b Dockrell 21
J Jenner lbw b Stirling 26
C Bodenstein c Thompson b Stirling 11
B Stevens c Dockrell b Mooney 9 20
N Watkins c Poynter b Cusack 1
A Kay lbw b Stirling 2
C Bisson c Thompson b Cusack 2
C Perchard b Mooney 0
B Kynman c K O’Brien b Mooney 0
R Palmer not out 0
Extras (b2, lb1, w5) 8
Total (all out, 19.5 ovs) 122
Fall of wickets: 1-42, 2-88, 3-106, 4-107, 5-110, 6-115, 7-118, 8-122, 9-122.
Bowling: C Young 4-0-12-0; A Cusack 4-0-26-3; J Mooney 2.5-0-20-3; G Dockrell 3-0-26-1; S Thompson 1-0-10-0; K O’Brien 1-0-9-0; P Stirling 4-0-16-3.
IRELAND W Porterfield c Bodenstein b Kay 17 P Stirling c Jenner b Stevens 55 A Balbirnie not out 32 K O’Brien lbw b Stevens 8 G Wilson not out 11
Total (for 3 wkts, 16.4 ovs) 123
Did not bat: J Mooney, S Poynter, S Thompson, G Dockrell, A Cusack, C Young.
Fall of wickets: 1-44, 2-91, 3-102.
Bowling: A Kay 3-0-27-1; N Watkins 3-0-21-0; C Perchard 3-0-24-0; B Stevens 3-0-20-2; B Kynman 3-0-21-0; R Palmer 1-0-8-0; C Bodenstein 0.4-0-2-0.
Ireland won by 7 wkts.
Other games (At Malahide): USA 146-6 (20 ovs) (N Standford 38no, A Dodson 38, Fahad Babar 30; C Amini 2-19), PNG 129-9 (20 ovs) (S Bau 26, M Dai 25; Muhammad Ghous 2-27, T Patel 2-32) USA won by 18 runs.
(At Clontarf): Hong Kong (Irfan Ahmed 98, J Atkinson 28; G Snyman 4-31), Namibia 114 (15.1 ovs) (S Burger 28, C Williams 27; Nadeem Ahmed 5-12, Haseeb Amjad 2-22, Tanwir Afzal 2-39). Hong Kong won by 83 runs.
FINAL GROUP A TABLE
P W L NR Pts NRR
1 Ireland 6 4 2 0 8 +1.3562
2 Hong Kong 6 3 2 1 7 +0.614
3 Namibia 6 3 2 1 7 +0.314
4 Papua New Guinea 6 3 2 1 7 +0.113
5 USA 6 3 3 0 6 -0.321
6 Jersey 6 2 4 0 4 -0.523
7 Nepal 6 1 4 1 3 -1.499
Tuesday’s play-offs (at Malahide): Hong Kong v Afghanistan, 10.0; Netherlands v Namibia, 2.15.