Ireland’s Niall O’Brien today. Credit: INPHO/Presseye/Rowland White
IRELAND BECAME THE first nation to clinch a spot at at the 2015 Cricket World Cup this evening.
After defeating the Netherlands on Sunday, William Porterfield’s side played out an entertaining tie with the same opponents in Amstelveen after Michael Rippon hit the final ball of the game for six from Ireland’s John Mooney.
That meant Ireland topped their group – finishing five points ahead of the Dutch.
There is still one place up for grabs from this tournament with four sides – Scotland, Netherlands, Afghanistan, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – all still capable of claiming second position.
While the top two sides from the ICC World Cricket League Championship will go forward to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, the six sides that do not qualify from this event will have a second chance to qualify through the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier New Zealand 2014, alongside Hong Kong, Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Uganda.
The 10 teams will lock horns for the remaining two positions in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
Congratulating the team, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar said: ”The Irish Cricket Team has set another landmark by being the first to qualify for the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup. This team is going from strength to strength.
Not so long ago it looked like Ireland wouldn’t even be allowed to qualify due to plans to restrict the competition to Test nations, but now we are first to qualify.
“It just goes to show what perseverance and hard work can achieve. Well done to all the team.”
Ireland 268-5 (E Joyce 96 n.o., N O’Brien 50, P Stirling 49) off 50 overs
Netherlands 268-9 (W Barresi 46, D van Bunge 45, E Szwarczynski 44; K O’Brien 3-52) off 50 overs