Ireland became the third team to reach the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup after brushing aside two-time champions West Indies.

Opener Paul Stirling played his best knock of the preliminary stage, scoring a 48-ball 66, to guide his side to a 9-wicket win while chasing West Indies’ total of 146-5.

Nicholas Pooran decided to bat first in the all-important encounter but his big-hitting batters failed to find any rhythm throughout their innings at Bellerive Oval.

Spinner Gareth Delany was the chief derailer of their innings, finishing his spell with career-best figures of 3 for 16.

Brandon King managed to score 62 from 48 balls to help his side set a below-par total.

In reply, Ireland looked comfortable from the off with Stirling and skipper Andy Balbirnie (37) putting on a 73-run partnership from 45 deliveries for the first wicket.

Balbirnie’s dismissal changed little in the grander scheme of things as Stirling found another able partner in Lorcan Tucker (45 runs) and the two added 77 runs together to see their side home with 15 balls to spare.

The win over West Indies caps off a remarkable turnaround for the Ireland side in the T20 World Cup after their inauspicious start and a marginal first win over Scotland.

They are back in the main round for the first time since 2009 where they join the Netherlands and Sri Lanka as other qualifiers.

For West Indies, the loss marks another low for the side which blows hot and cold.

They are the only side to have won the competition twice but without the old stalwarts to guide them anymore, perhaps losses to Scotland and Ireland are not that surprising from now on.

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