The only side to win the T20 World Cup twice, the West Indies, was eliminated from the current competition after losing their last Group B qualifying match against Ireland in Hobart on Friday by nine wickets. West Indies had a disastrous start against Scotland, losing by 42 runs, but they bounced back to easily defeat Zimbabwe.

With one victory and one defeat, each of the four teams in the group, which also includes Scotland and Zimbabwe, entered a life-or-death position. Ireland, who had previously lost to Zimbabwe before coming from behind to win, put on a masterful display against the formidable Windies with both bat and ball to advance to the Super 12 round.

Ireland’s openers Paul Stirling and skipper Andrew Balbirnie gave them a fantastic start as they chased a goal of 147. Neither hitter showed any signs of nerves as they entered the game intending to take advantage of the powerplay.

The West Indies left-arm spinner Akeal Hossein, who often bowls tight overs during the powerplay, was facing Stirling and Balbirnie. They also received the same treatment when Nicholas Pooran turned to pace. Odean Smith was destroyed in the next over, while Alzarri Joseph scored 10 runs in his first over. The boundaries kept coming in from both ends, but he conceded 14 runs in his opening over.

Ireland sped to a powerplay score of 64/0. Balbirnie was out for 37 after facing 23 balls, but Stirling carried on with the help of Lorcan Tucker, who was also out after facing a no-ball. Stirling needed 32 balls to get his fifty. As Ireland reached home in the 18th over, he was still undefeated on 65 from 46 balls. Despite not being in the greatest of sorts, the seasoned right-hander showed class by smashing two sixes and six fours in an impeccable inning. Tucker scored the winning runs with flair, dancing down the wicket to hit Obed McCoy for four, drawing raucous applause from a small contingent of Irish supporters. Tucker had a perfect score of 45 after 34 balls.

The decisive victory also raised Ireland’s run rate and provided them a chance to take first place in the group. They will have to wait until later in the day to learn the outcome of the game between Scotland and Zimbabwe. Earlier, West Indies have held to 146/5 thanks to Gareth Delany’s outstanding 3 for 16 in 4 overs. Their leading scorer, Brandon King, with an undefeated 62 off 48 balls.