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CWCQ Preview: Ireland happy with balance

The William Porterfield-led Ireland team are a top side that go into the Cricket World Cup qualifier tournament with some strong recent performances.

Porterfield is confident about the balance of the side though he is cautious that being acknowledged as one of the better sides may mean that other teams would be looking to beat them.

The skipper understands that his side will have to be consistent if they hope to clinch one of the two available spots for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

The Irish captain said: “We’re a pretty balanced side, which gives us great confidence going into the tournament.

“Regardless of who we come up against, I believe we can match anything and perform in all aspects of the game.

“Whether it’s our seam attack, our batting or the spin department, we have the bases fairly well covered and we’re just looking forward to cracking on now and getting into the tournament.”

Ireland have been grouped together with arguably the best team at the tournament in the West Indies but should be confident of advancing to the super six phase from which the two finalists and World Cup competitors will be decided.

Ireland squad: William Porterfield (captain), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, Boyd Rankin, James Shannon, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling and Gary Wilson

Fixtures:

First round

March

4 A: Papua New Guinea v UAE, Harare Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

4 A: Ireland v Netherlands, Old Hararians (07:30 GMT)

4 B: Zimbabwe v Nepal, Queen’s Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

4 B: Afghanistan v Scotland, Bulawayo Athletic Club(07:30 GMT)

6 A: Papua New Guinea v Ireland, Harare Sports Club(07:30 GMT)

6 A: West Indies v UAE, Old Hararians (07:30 GMT)

6 B: Zimbabwe v Afghanistan, Queen’s Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

6 B: Scotland v Hong Kong, Bulawayo Athletic Club(07:30 GMT)

8 A: Netherlands v UAE, Harare Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

8 A: West Indies v Papua New Guinea, Old Hararians (07:30 GMT)

8 B: Scotland v Nepal, Queen’s Sports Club(07:30 GMT)

8 B: Afghanistan v Hong Kong, Bulawayo Athletic Club (07:30 GMT)

10 A: West Indies v Ireland, Harare Sports Club(07:30 GMT)

10 A: Papua New Guinea v Netherlands, Old Hararians (07:30 GMT)

10 B: Zimbabwe v Hong Kong, Queen’s Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

10 B: Afghanistan v Nepal, Bulawayo Athletic Club (07:30 GMT)

12 A: West Indies v Netherlands, Harare Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

12 A: Ireland v UAE, Old Hararians(07:30 GMT)

12 B: Hong Kong v Nepal, Queen’s Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

12 B: Zimbabwe v Scotland, Bulawayo Athletic Club(07:30 GMT)

(Top three teams in each group qualify for Super Sixes; others move into play-offs)

Super Sixes and play-offs
15 A1 v B1, Harare Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

15 A3 v B3, Queen’s Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

15 Play-off: A5 v B4, Old Hararians (07:30 GMT)

15 Play-off: A4 v B5, Kwekwe (07:30 GMT)

16 A2 v B2, Harare Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

17 9th/10th place play-off, Old Hararians (07:30 GMT)

17 7th/8th place play-off. Kwekwe (07:30 GMT)

18 A2 v B3, Harare Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

19 A1 v B2, Harare Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

20 A3 v B1, Harare Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

22 A1 v B3, Harare Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

22 A3 v B2, Old Hararians (07:30 GMT)

23 A2 v B1, Harare Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

(Top two teams in Super Six make the final – both qualify for 2019 World Cup)

25 Final, Harare Sports Club (08:30 BST)