(Reuters) – Seamer Alex Cusack took two wickets in three balls in the final over as Ireland knocked Zimbabwe out of the World Cup with a thrilling five-run win in their Pool B match at Bellerive Oval in Hobart yesterday.
The African side, chasing Ireland’s total of 331 for eight, were bowled out for 326 with three balls remaining to become the first test-playing nation to be ruled out of contention for a place in the quarter-finals.
With Zimbabwe needing just seven runs in the last over, Cusack (4-32), recalled to the side in place of Max Sorensen, took a wicket on his first and third balls to spark wild celebrations among his team mates and their supporters.
This was Ireland’s third win in four matches and put them level on six points with South Africa and Pakistan with a game in hand. West Indies have also played five matches and are on four points.
Earlier, left-hander Ed Joyce lived a charmed life to hit his first World Cup century and was well supported by Andy Balbirnie, who was run out on 97, as Ireland posted their highest one-day international score after being put in to bat.
Brendan Taylor (121), leading Zimbabwe in place of injured captain Elton Chigumbura, hit his seventh ODI hundred, matching Alistair Campbell for the highest number of 50-over centuries for Zimbabwe.