South Africa edges out Ireland to secure an automatic spot in the World Cup

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South Africa edged Ireland for the final automatic World Cup spot when Ireland and Bangladesh’s opening one-day international was a washout.

Rain forced the cancellation of Tuesday’s play in Chelmsford with Ireland on 63-3 after 16.3 overs in response to Bangladesh’s 246-9. Ireland still has a chance to qualify for the World Cup through this path, but they will need to win this ODI series by a score of 3-0.

Bangladesh has already earned a spot. Ireland still has a chance to qualify for the World Cup in India later this year thanks to a 10-team qualifying competition that will take place in Zimbabwe in June-July.

Two past champions, Sri Lanka and the West Indies, are among the other countries competing. The top eight finishers in the three-year-old WCSL competition receive the first slots in the 10-team World Cup. To lessen the possible effects of the weather, Cricket Ireland moved this week’s ODI matches from its home sites to Essex. 

In the second inning, only 16.3 overs were feasible, and a score on Duckworth Lewis Stern required at least 20. Josh Little, a left-arm, flew back from the Indian Premier League to participate in the series. He took 3-61 on his return to Irish colours, including Litton Das, the series opener, and Mushfiqur Rahim, the game’s best scorer.

Mark Adair also grabbed 2-44, and Graham Hume impressed with figures of 2-32 from his 10 overs. At the midway point, Bangladesh appeared vulnerable, but they made a great start with the new ball, bowling the dangerous Paul Stirling for 15, and skipper Andy Balbirnie for just five.

After adding 36 runs for the third wicket, Stephen Doheny and Harry Tector were dismissed by Taijul Islam’s catch and delivery.

The game never seemed to restart, and shortly after 19:00, the outcome was announced. On Friday, the same venue will host the second game. 

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