West Indies out for revenge against Ireland: Holder
West Indies captain Jason Holder says they are determined to avenge their 2015 World Cup defeat by Ireland when the teams meet at the Harare Sports Club tomorrow (7.30am GMT).
Following West Indies' six wickets victory over Papua New Guinea yesterday, when Holder finished 99 not out, he told the Belfast Telegraph that the defeat in Nelson hadn't been forgotten.
"Unfortunately we didn't play them in Belfast last year but this is the perfect opportunity to put things right from 2015," he said. "It is still in the back of our minds and we want to continue our winning ways in this qualifying tournament.
"There are still a lot of familiar names in the Ireland team, they are a well gelled side who have been together for a while and obviously been doing some very good things. A lot of their players have county experience and have been playing around the world so we're looking forward to a very good game."
After failing to top 115 in either warm-up game, the tournament favourites have impressed in their first two group matches, hitting 357-4 against UAE and 201-4 yesterday. Holder feels they are peaking at the right time and are getting used to their first ever qualifying tournament.
"I think we have stuck to the basics quite well and in each game someone has put their hand up," he added. "We are here for a reason and we just have to play our cricket to dictate us qualifying for the World Cup."
Meanwhile, Scotland are the first team to qualify for the Super Six stage after beating Nepal yesterday by six wickets but, sensationally, Afghanistan are on the verge of crashing out of the tournament in the group stages.
The team, now led by former Ireland head coach Phil Simmons who brought in ex-Ireland international John Mooney as fielding coach, suffered a third straight defeat, to Hong Kong by 30 runs.
Rain reduced their chase to 46 overs but, having lost seven wickets in the first 43 overs, they resumed needing an almost impossible 59 from three overs.
Now they must rely on Hong Kong losing their last two games, against Zimbabwe and Nepal, to give them a chance of progressing to the Super Six on run-rate.
The upsets also continued in Ireland's group with Netherlands losing their second game, to UAE - Ireland's opponents on Monday - by six wickets, meaning the winner of Ireland's final two games will definitely qualify, although the losers of the Ireland-West Indies game will also go through if PNG beat the Dutch tomorrow.