Ireland clung on to claim a controversial five-run win over Zimbabwe in Hobart to keep their bid to reach the World Cup quarter-finals on track.
Ed Joyce’s third one-day international century helped Ireland post 331 for eight – their highest ever score at a World Cup – but Zimbabwe required and tried for the highest chase in World Cup history until a debatable John Mooney catch. Left-hander Sean Williams, who had added 149 with Taylor, somehow kept his team in contention before, with 32 needed from 19 balls, he holed out to deep mid-wicket on 96, replays appeared to show Mooney had stepped on the rope when he held on to remove Sean Williams, who was four short of a century and seemingly in control of the pursuit.
The third umpire was called to judge the catch, although Williams did not remain on the field of play after he instead opted to take the word of Mooney that he had taken the catch inside the rope.
There was still drama to follow as Tawanda Mupariwa, at No. 10, slapped 19 from the penultimate over, delivered by Kevin O’Brien, to leave Zimbabwe needing seven from the last six balls.
But Alex Cusack held his nerve as he claimed the final two wickets, first getting Regis Chakabva to drag on before Mupariwa skied a catch William Porterfield eagerly accepted. Unfortunately the Zimbabweans bowed out of the event. Ireland next face unbeaten India, who have already qualified, on Tuesday.
The Irish team’s final match is the last of the group fixtures in the tournament, against Pakistan on 15 March, when West Indies face UAE, and is likely to determine which other three sides will advance to the quarter-finals from Pool B.