Ireland send West Indies out in ‘absolute mauling’; Zimbabwe make history: T20 World Cup Wrap

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Ireland send West Indies out in ‘absolute mauling’; Zimbabwe make history: T20 World Cup Wrap
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Veteran opener Paul Stirling slammed an unbeaten 66 as Ireland made the Twenty20 World Cup Super 12 on Friday and sent two-time champions West Indies crashing out in a stunning upset.

Disciplined bowling restricted the Caribbean side to 146-5, with Gareth Delany taking a career-best 3-16, before the Irish romped to their target for the loss of just one wicket with 15 balls to spare in Hobart.

Stirling, at his seventh World Cup, shared in a blistering 73-run opening stand with captain Andy Balbirnie to supercharge Ireland’s run chase.

Stirling and Balbirnie could just not be stopped in the powerplay in particular, combining for 64 runs in what former West Indies T20 captain Carlos Brathwaite described as “carnage”.

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The final Super 12 slot will be decided later Friday when Zimbabwe meet Scotland.

Head coach Phil Simmons said his West Indies team “didn’t turn up”.

“We started well with the bat, but we just didn’t continue,” added Simmons.

“I think when you sum it up, we were outplayed in all departments today. They bowled well. We batted well at the start but didn’t carry on, and they just batted well and batted us out of the game.”

The West Indies won the tournament in 2012 and 2016, but came to Australia with a new-look team after the likes of Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard retired, and Andre Russell was overlooked.

They stumbled badly in their opening match against Scotland, crashing by 42 runs, before recovering to emphatically beat Zimbabwe.

But in Ireland, who are playing in their seventh straight World Cup and had only been beyond the first round once before, in 2009, they again hit the wall.

After the West Indies won the toss and batted at a breezy Bellerive Oval in Hobart, the Irish bowlers sent down nine dot balls among their first 15.

In frustration, Kyle Mayers launched at a delivery from Barry McCarthy and was caught by Harry Tector at mid-off for one.

The dangerous Johnson Charles slammed 4-4-6 off Curtis Campher but his luck ran out in the next over, slicing to Campher off spinner Simi Singh for 24.

Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie did all the damage early. (Photo by DAVID GRAY / AFP)Source: AFP

Brandon King, who missed the West Indies’ last game with illness, was dropped two balls later and made the most of the opportunity, crunching four boundaries to steer them to 67-2 at halfway.

Evin Lewis received treatment for a hamstring issue and was out soon after for 13, ending a 44-run partnership.

Skipper Nicholas Pooran (13) and Rovman Powell (6) didn’t last against a quality attack as King (62 not out) did his best to push the scoreboard forward.

In reply, Ireland got off to a cracking start with Stirling and Balbirnie on a mission, blazing 54 off the first five overs, with eight boundaries, four of them sixes.

The spin of Akeal Hosein finally gave the West Indies a breakthrough in the eighth over with Balbirnie caught by Mayers after an entertaining 37 off 23 balls to end a decisive opening stand.

The run rate dipped but Stirling, in his 177th international, kept going and reached his 21st T20 half-century with another boundary and with Lorcan Tucker (45 not out) saw them home.

ZIMBABWE MAKE HISTORY WITH STIRRING WIN

Elsewhere, Zimbabwe has booked their spot in the Super 12 after recovering from an early stumble with the bat in hand to defeat Scotland by five wickets.

This is the first time Zimbabwe has qualified for this stage of the World Cup and they will now join Pakistan and India from Group 2.

Scotland managed 132-6 to set a respectable total for Zimbabwe to chase down, with George Munsey leading the way with 54 runs off 51 balls.

Fellow opener Michael Jones did not last long though, going early for just four runs after clever work from Tendai Chatara.

“It’s the swing of Chatara and who else Raza, running back,” Mark Howards said in commentary.

“It’s a tough catch and he’s pumped. It’s a big wicket for Zimbabwe.”

Zimbabwe fans cheer. (Photo by DAVID GRAY / AFP)Source: AFP

A spectacular diving catch from Wesley Madhevere then saw Matthew Cross dismissed for just one run, leaving skipper Richard Berrington to come to the crease with Scotland at 24-2.

Berrington though did not last too long either, dismissed for 13 runs as Munsey continued to hold the fort for Scotland.

Although he too looked to be in trouble and at risk of a possible run-out, only for replays to show Madhevere had dropped the ball and instead hit the bails down with his hands.

Munsey was eventually dismissed for 54 runs after a stunning catch from Milton Shumba, with Calum MacLeod helping steer Scotland to a solid total with 25 runs of his own.

Overall though it was an impressive bowling performance from Zimbabwe, with Ngarava and Chatara each taking two wickets.

Scotland made the perfect start though, with Regis Chakabva dismissed lbw for just four runs.

“Just the start that Scotland needed,” Howard said in commentary.

“Chakabva can’t believe it, he departs for four.”

The wickets continued to tumble, with Madhevere and Sean Williams going for zero and seven respectively.

“Exactly what I’m talking about,” Samuel Badree added in commentary.

“Always seem to be in a rush and a hurry Zimbabwe and they put themselves under pressure. Scotland are smiling and know they are in this contest because of the way Zimbabwe plays. Another wicket falls.”

Sikandar Raza steadied the ship. (Photo by DAVID GRAY / AFP)Source: AFP

Sikandar Raza though helped steady the ship, putting up 40 runs before Scotland eventually found a way to stall Zimbabwe’s momentum with the result seemingly slipping away.

“That’s the wicket required,” Howard said.

“Raza can’t believe it. It clipped something on the way through and some hope for Scotland.”

With opener Craig Ervine putting up 58 runs off 54 balls, Zimbabwe were still in a commanding position to take the win, even with the late wickets and dot balls adding up.

In the end it was enough for Zimbabwe to book their spot in the Super 12.

Scotland skipper Richie Berrington had won the toss and opted to bat against Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe, who beat Ireland but lost to the West Indies, welcome back captain Craig Ervine, who was ruled out on their last match with a “mild asthmatic attack”.

The Scots, who stunned the West Indies before Ireland brought them back down to earth, were unchanged for the third game in a row.



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