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Massive result for Ireland's Cricket World Cup chances as UAE stun hosts Zimbabwe

Ireland will qualify for the 2019 Cricket World Cup if they beat Afghanistan tomorrow.

Ireland: massive chance at qualification (file photo).
Ireland: massive chance at qualification (file photo).
Image: ICC

United Arab Emirates (237/7, 47.5 overs)

Zimbabwe 226/7 (40 overs)

UAE won by three runs (DLS method)

IRELAND WILL FACE Afghanistan in a ‘win and you’re in’ Cricket World Cup qualifier on Friday after a dramatic upset in Harare today.

Zimbabwe were in pole position to take the second and final qualification place, knowing that a win against the unfancied United Arab Emirates would see them through to the 2019 tournament.

But an incredible three-run win for the UAE left the hosts on the brink of elimination, and gifted Ireland and Afghanistan an unlikely shot at taking their place.

Ireland’s hopes appeared to be dead and buried following defeats against both the West Indies and Zimbabwe.

But now they go into tomorrow’s final Super Six match with a lifeline, with the winner joining the Windies in Sunday’s final as well as securing automatic qualification.

If tomorrow’s game is washed out and declared a ‘no result’, Ireland would qualify by virtue of their superior net run rate; however, if the match is played to a draw, Ireland would no longer hold the best net run rate, and Zimbabwe would qualify instead.

After winning the toss, Zimbabwe put their visitors into bat, and an excellent 59 from Rameez Shahzad helped them to set a competitive total of 235/7 before their innings was cut short by the Harare rain.

When the covers came off, Zimbabwe were set a Duckworth-Lewis target of 230 off 40 overs.

And on the back of a heroic 80-run stand from Sean Williams, they looked destined to come out on the right side of a tense and frantic run chase.

Even when Williams was dismissed at 206/6, Zimbabwe’s target of 24 off their final 18 balls appeared to be within reach.

But Mohammad Naveed (3-40) bowled out Graeme Cremer for a golden duck on the very next ball, and held Zimbabwe at bay to become Ireland’s — or possibly Afghanistan’s — unlikely hero.

screenshot.1521738270.67048 Source: www.bbc.com

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