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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Ireland, Bermuda qualify for World Cup

Ireland, Bermuda qualify for World Cup

July 08, 2005 10:20 IST

Bermuda and Ireland both qualified for the ICC Cricket World Cup for the first time with victories over USA and Denmark respectively, on Friday.

Ireland's victory over Denmark was built on a valuable 60-run contribution from star man Ed Joyce. The Middlesex batsman will return to his county side for a Championship match starting on Friday. But Ireland's next opponents will still have an in-form Joyce to contend with as younger brother Dominic overshadowed his more experienced sibling with a man-of-the-match winning 50 off only 37 balls.

Ireland's total of 222 all out looked a sufficient target in challenging conditions at Bangor and it proved to be so as Denmark were bowled out for 149.

Bermuda came into the ICC Trophy as the bottom-ranked of the three participating teams from the Americas region but guaranteed a place at the ICC Cricket World Cup finals with a 113-run defeat of USA.

The Bermuda side, which is coached by former West Indies batsman Gus Logie, won the match with a confident batting display. Janeiro Tucker was the key man, smashing 132 runs as Bermuda piled on 311 for 8 in 50 overs. USA were disappointing in the field. They tried eight different bowlers and conceded 52 extras including 24 wides. They then completed a winless group stage by falling short of the target with 198 all out.

In the other Group A game, UAE beat Uganda by 63 runs to edge ahead of Denmark into third place.

Scotland went into its final group match against Holland as the only unbeaten side in Group B. Holland had to win the match to stand a chance of qualifying while Scotland would be through if they could come close to matching Holland's run rate.

These circumstances made for a tense opening spell after Scotland were put into bat and when light rain disrupted play they were struggling at 138 for five. When play resumed, Scotland's middle-order all chipped in with valuable runs to lift the total to 221 all out.

Scotland's seam attack found the damp conditions to their liking and made early inroads into the Dutch batting line-up. A series of batsmen made steady starts but only Ryan ten Doeschate was able to pass 20 as the wickets continued to fall. Holland crumbled to 123 all out with Ryan Watson the chief destroyer with four wickets.

Canada knew that net-run-rate could be a determining factor in Group B ahead of their match against Papua New Guinea. So after losing the toss and being put in to bat, openers John Davison and Desmond Chumney wasted no time in hitting out. They raced to a century partnership before Davison was out for 62. Though Romero soon followed for 50 the momentum was maintained by Zubin Surkari (45) and Ian Billcliff, who hit an unbeaten 102, to lift Canada to 319 for 3 in 50 overs.

With the Scotland vs Holland match at that stage still in the balance, Canada knew it could be crucial to their chances of a top two finish for them to bowl out Papua New Guinea cheaply and Umar Bhatti and Don Maxwell made important early breakthroughs. Mahuru Dai held out for 52 runs as Papua New Guinea edged past the 100 mark. They were all out for 159 but, with Holland losing to Scotland, net-run-rate was no longer an issue and Canada had sealed a place at a second consecutive ICC Cricket World Cup.

In the other Group B game Oman recovered from 12 for 3 to post 170 for 9 in 50 overs. Captain Azhar Syed led the fightback, top scoring with 60 runs. It was not enough to trouble Namibia's batsmen who reached the target in 41.2 overs for the loss of four wickets.

All of the group stage matches took place in the north of Ireland. The action now moves to the south where the semi-finals and final will be held. The semi-finals are on Saturday while the final is at Clontarf near Dublin on Wednesday, July 13.