Belfast Telegraph

Ireland to be overlooked as World Cup qualifier host


By Ian Callender

Ireland are still waiting to hear if they will be hosting next year's World Cup qualifying tournament but the vibes from the final day of the ICC's annual meeting at The Oval were not good.

Ireland have put in a joint bid with Scotland to stage the 10-team tournament, from which only the best two will join the top eight in the one-day international rankings at the finals in England in 2019.

Bangladesh were due to host the tournament but as they are 99.99 per cent sure of making the top eight by the cut-off date of September 30 this year, they no longer wish to host the qualifiers.

Zimbabwe, however, who will be in the tournament, have thrown their hat into the ring along with the UAE and all the signs are that Zimbabwe will get the nod when the final decision is made in the next couple of months.

Meanwhile, Leinster Lightning made it four wins out of four in the Twenty20 Trophy last night with an eight-run victory over Northern Knights at Shaw's Bridge. They can clinch the title for the third successive time, with a game to spare, if they beat the North West Warriors at Merrion in four weeks' time.

The Warriors remain just in touch, still eight points behind in second place, after beating the Munster Reds by 25 runs at Eglinton.

Peter Chase was the match-winner for Lightning, finishing with the remarkable T20 figures of 4-0-11-4 to halt the Knights' charge for victory. The hosts needed 11 off the last over but he hit the stumps three times, with Graeme McCarter the second of his victims after a run-a-ball 42.

Captain James Shannon was the only other player to reach double figures for the Knights - a whirlwind 55 off 35 balls, with five fours and four sixes - but wickets fell regularly at the other end to always give Lightning hope of defending their modest 136 for nine.

Not one visiting batsman reached 20, although there was one 19, two 18s (Simi Singh and Eddie Richardson) and a 17 (Andrew Sheridan) while Lee Nelson was the only Knights bowler not to get among the wickets.

The Warriors owed their victory to captain Andy McBrine, who hit 22 off the last over, which was just about the difference between the teams.

He finished the innings with four fours and a six off the last ball to bring up a 25-ball half century and give his bowlers something to bowl at as the Reds threatened an upset win.

But David Scanlon responded with two early wickets and Steve Lazars picked up two more to reduce the new boys to 60 for six. They were bowled out with 14 balls unused.

The MCC tour finished, not entirely unexpectedly, with their game against the Ireland Under-19s at Belmont ending in a tie. It meant every game went to the last ball, the first two with the last pair holding on for a draw, and yesterday with Varun Chopra hitting the last ball for two, thanks to an overthrow!

Eglinton: North West Warriors 142-5 (20 overs, A McBrine 52 not out, D Rankin 26, RL Dougherty 24; H Tector 4-21 Munster Reds 117 (17.4 overs, D Delany 25; D Scanlon 3-19, J Thompson 2-19, A Britton 2-24, S Lazars 2-27). Warriors won by 25 runs.

Shaw's Bridge: Leinster Lightning 136-9 (20 overs, K O'Brien 19; S Getkate 2-21, G Kidd 2-35, G McCarter 2-35) Northern Knights 128 (20 overs, J Shannon 55, G McCarter 42, P Chase 4-11, E Richardson 3-25, K O'Brien 2-33). Lightning won by 8 runs.

Belmont: MCC 235 (49.3 overs, S Barrett 66, R Strydom 58, C McMorran 33; M Topping 4-36, R Kelly 3-30, JJ Garth 2-29) Ireland U-19s 235-9 (50 overs, N Rock 65, M Topping 35, J Carson 30, R Kelly 28, J Little 21, S Murphy 20; R Rowling 3-47. Match tied.

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