Ireland's chances of qualifying for next year's Cricket World Cup remain alive after United Arab Emirates overcame Zimbabwe in Harare this afternoon. Recording their first victory of the qualifying phase, UAE denied Zimbabwe automatic qualification to next year's tournament in England and Wales.
With the West Indies already assured of their place, attention will now turn toward tomorrow's final qualifying tie between Ireland and Afghanistan; you largely have Mohammad Naveed and his bowling to thank for this.
Mohammad Naveed is the #UAEvZIM Player of the Match after his 3/40 held off Zimbabwe for a 3 run (DLS method) win! pic.twitter.com/dyTY0h9a4u
— ICC Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) March 22, 2018
As the table stands, it will be a winner takes all as the 2 points for a win would take either country beyond Zimbabwe's five point total.
However, it has since been made clear that winning might not necessarily be Ireland's clearest route to the Cricket World Cup next year.
Update on the run rate Zimbabwe on (0.42) has dropped below Ireland's (0.47), so even if tomorrow's game is washed out, Ireland will qualify. @rtesport @cricketworldcup
— john kenny (@JohnKennyMedia) March 22, 2018
Through a strange quirk of fate, Ireland's cricketers will qualify if it rains during their game with Afghanistan tomorrow.
Giving cause for the contest to be labelled level, if Ireland v Afghanistan was to be rained off, the one point Ireland would gain - alongside their superior run-rate compared to that of Zimbabwe - would be enough.
Not the only permutation that could come into play tomorrow, should the game finish as a tie, Zimbabwe would go through as a result of Ireland's reduced run-rate.
Fairly straight-forward then, all possible permutations are outlined below.
This is definitely right this time!
The final #CWCQ Qualification permutations are as follows;
If Ireland beat Afghanistan they qualify
If Afghanistan beat Ireland they qualify
If it is a wash-out/NR Ireland qualify on Net Run Rate
A tie Zimbabwe qualify on Net Run Rate pic.twitter.com/cW8F5FTcvD
— Andrew Leonard (@CricketBadge) March 22, 2018
While temperatures are promised to approach 30 degrees Celsius tomorrow in Harare, the likelihood of precipitation stands at 50%.
So, you know what to do, take in that Child of Prague and start hoping for rain as Ireland's cricketers look to extend what has been a very promising few days for Irish sport.