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Dublin: 13°C Wednesday 21 October 2020

History beckons - what do Ireland need to do to reach the World Cup quarter-finals?

Two games, one week, one goal.

Let's hope we'll have something to celebrate this time next week.
Let's hope we'll have something to celebrate this time next week.
Image: Barry Chambers/INPHO

IT’S BEEN A remarkable few weeks for Irish cricket as Phil Simmons’ side have once again captured the imagination of the public by making a huge impression at the World Cup.

The Boys in Green have won three out of their four Pool B matches in Australia/New Zealand but as the business end of the tournament approaches, it will count for nothing if they can’t finish the job this week.

With two group matches remaining, Ireland have given themselves a fantastic chance of upsetting the sport’s established order by qualifying for the quarter-finals. Much of the hard work has been done but with games against India and Pakistan to come this week, the stakes couldn’t be any higher as history beckons.

How many more points do we need to get through?


After Saturday’s nail-biting win over Zimbabwe, the equation couldn’t be more clear-cut for Ireland. They currently sit fourth in Pool B with six points and need just another point to progress.

It may seem a straightforward task but the final two games are against India and Pakistan. A win in either would see Ireland qualify for the last eight.

Alternatively, a tie or no-result in either of those games would do us just fine as that would bring Ireland up to the seven points needed to knock West Indies out of the running.

Standings   Cricket World Cup 2015   ICC Cricket   Official Website Source: ICC

So, we’re hoping for a monsoon in Hamilton?

You could say that, yes.

In an ideal world, Ireland will beat India in the early hours of Tuesday morning and thus coast through to the knock-out stages in style with a game to spare. However, a rained-off game would be just as effective and I’m not sure anyone would complain.

If the rain dance works and no play is possible at Seddon Park, both teams will get a point and that will be enough for Ireland to reach the quarter-finals.

Unfortunately the weather forecast doesn’t suggest there will be enough rain in Hamilton to force an abandonment so Ireland will just have to take down the sport’s superpower on the field.

  • v India, Hamilton, Tuesday 10 March, 1am Irish time
  • v Pakistan, Adelaide, Sunday 15 March, 3.30am Irish time

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While it seems fanciful to think Ireland can get a result against the might of India, MS Dhoni’s side have already qualified from Pool B as group winners and may have one eye on the knock-out stages. You just never know.

What about net run-rate?

It doesn’t matter any more.

Up until the weekend it looked like the vagaries of net run-rate would play a huge part in deciding which teams advance from Ireland’s group but the narrow win over Zimbabwe on Saturday and Pakistan’s surprise victory over South Africa has meant net run-rate, even if it does come into play, will lead to Ireland’s downfall.

If we were to lose both matches, our net run-rate would worsen further and if, as expected, West Indies beat UAE, they’ll move to six points alongside ourselves. That is when net run-rate comes into play and Ireland’s, no matter what happens between now and next week, will be worse than West Indies’.

Let’s hope it doesn’t get to that stage.

Ireland fans celebrate winning Source: Barry Chambers/INPHO

But, is there a scenario where we can get through without getting that point?

Yes, I’m glad you asked.

Ireland have got themselves into a position where they are in control of their own destiny. The squad know what they need to do and they’ll no doubt be determined, focused and confident of achieving the aim and getting that one point required.

However, there is a scenario wherein we lose to both India and Pakistan yet still be booking our tickets for a Sydney quarter-final. If our friends from United Arab Emirates can pull off an unlikely shock to beat West Indies in Napier on the same day we play Pakistan, we’ll be through!

But if the last few games have taught us anything, don’t expect a relaxed and comfortable ride.

Ireland now know what they need to do in order to achieve what they set out to do and prove many people, including the sport’s governing body, wrong.

Two games, one week, one goal, just one more point. COYBIG.

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About the author:

Ryan Bailey

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