The two-time world champions and one of the most dangerous sides in the shortest format, West Indies, have been eliminated from the World Cup even before the league stage started. Friday’s match is being touted as the biggest upsets in T-20 World Cup history as the tournament will now be played without the Indies for the first time since 2007.
At the Blundstone Arena stadium, Hobart, West Indies chose to bat first, after winning the toss, in the hopes of scoring a large score, but failed miserably.
Whether it’s selecting wickets at regular intervals or restricting runs, the Irish bowlers never allowed the batter to get away. Ireland devised and effectively implemented a strategy – to not give the batters the pace to hit the longest side of the boundary and thus outplayed them in every department of the game.
The latter, on the other hand, failed to make its presence felt in the competition from the start.
Aside from Brendon King, no other batsman managed to play a meaningful innings; everyone else had starts but failed to turn them into the large innings that the team needed.
A late cameo from Odaine Smith helped them to reach a respective total but it just wasn’t enough. The West Indian bowlers also failed to impress anyone with their performance. Defending a paltry total of 147, the bowlers leaked runs at around 10 runs per over and were inconsistent with their line and lengths, resulting in a monumental defeat of 9 wickets with two and a half overs to spare.
Gerath Delany and Paul Stirling, coupled with vital blows from Lorcan Tucker and Andy Bilbirnie, were the heroes for Ireland. Paul Stirling led his team to win with an undefeated innings of 66 runs from 48 balls, and Gerath Delany took three key wickets, conceding only 16 runs, and was named man of the match for his efforts.
The West Indian squad, as in the previous warm-up match against Zimbabwe, played their own brand of cricket, which does not appear to be working for them right now.
The Caribbean team started the World Cup without its key players, including Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, and Shimron Hetmyer, but they were still a formidable force with plenty of experience.
Ireland, on the other hand, has continued to impress since the Indian squad visited there in June.
This year, Ireland’s top order appears to be ready to compete with the best in the world, and their spin department has also impressed. Based on their present performance, they are likely to have an influence on the future championship.
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