Lahore : An eye-catching maiden century by Rovman Powell steered the Windies into the Super Six of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 with a convincing 52 runs victory over Ireland in a Group A match, while Zimbabwe also maintained their unbeaten run in Group B and progressed to the next stage with an 89 runs victory over Hong Kong on Saturday.
In front of broadcast cameras and nearly 2,000 spectators at the Harare Sports Club, Powell scored a dazzling less than run-a-ball 101 with seven fours and as many sixes to lift the Windies from 83 for five to 257 for eight. He featured in an 86-run sixth-wicket partnership with captain Jason Holder, who hit three fours and a six in a 71-ball 54.
Fast bowler Tim Murtagh was the pick of the Ireland bowlers with figures of 10-2-41-4, while Andy McBrine picked up two for 45.
Windies fast bowler Kemar Roach then picked up two early wickets of Paul Stirling (18) and Andrew Balbirnie (9) and then returned to dismiss the dangerous looking Ed Joyce (63, 86b, 7×4) and Kevin O’Brien (38) in a space of four deliveries to finish will figures of 10-3-27-4 as Ireland slipped from 166-4 to 205 all out in 46.2 overs. Kesrick Williams too did his part as he got rid of the lower-order batsmen, taking four for 43 in 8.2 overs.
In the other Group A fixture at the Old Hararians, the Netherlands kept their chances alive for a place in the Super Six when they defeated Papua New Guinea by 57 runs in their first-ever meeting. Roelof van der Merwe starred in the Dutch victory when he contributed 33 in his side’s 216 for eight and then returned figures of 10-0-46-4 as PNG were dismissed for 159 in 42.1 overs.
This result means Monday’s matches between the Netherlands and the Windies, and Ireland and the United Arab Emirates will decide which two sides will join the two-time former world champions in the Super Six.