Ireland seal T20 World Cup spot
A resounding eight-wicket victory over Nigeria followed by a happy sequence of results in other matches over the weekend saw Ireland qualify for next year's T20 World Cup in Australia by finishing top of Group B in Abu Dhabi.
After Craig Young claimed a career-best 4-13, it took just 6.1 overs for a Kevin O'Brien-inspired chase to pass the Africans' dismal 66-9 and send Ireland top on run-rate where they surprisingly stayed when favourites Oman lost to Jersey yesterday.
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A massive win by either the United Arab Emirates or Canada in the final group game would still have denied Ireland but a close match ensured an extra three days off to focus on a semi-final on Friday against the Netherlands and UAE play-off winners.
"We want to be playing our best cricket towards the end of the tournament, and we probably haven't been at our best yet," skipper Gary Wilson said. "But we've had some positive performances over the last couple of games."
One negative has been the loss of Clontarf speedster David Delany who suffered a meniscus tear in his left knee while fielding against Jersey on Friday and has had to withdraw from the squad.
His replacement is Barry McCarthy, the Pembroke seam bowler.