CRICKET: Ireland miss out on qualification to World Cup finals

Ireland's Paul Stirling
Ireland's Paul Stirling

Ireland will not participate at next year's World Cup after suffering an agonising defeat to Afghanistan in their all-or-nothing encounter in Harare.

The two latest full member nations of the International Cricket Council were both vying for a place in England and Wales next summer as the qualification tournament reached its crescendo.

Afghanistan celebrate defeating Ireland

Afghanistan celebrate defeating Ireland

And it was Afghanistan who prevailed as they overhauled Ireland's 209 for seven with five wickets and five balls to spare to join the West Indies in the 10-team global tournament.

It is a spectacular reversal of fortunes for Afghanistan, who lost their first three group games and only progressed to the Super Six stage through net run-rate before hitting their straps.

While they will be contemplating a World Cup qualifier final against the Windies on Sunday, Ireland miss out on the tournament proper for the first time since 2003.