Zimbabwe have effectively failed to reach the Cricket World Cup for the first time since 1983 after losing a must-win qualification match against the already eliminated United Arab Emirates by three runs.
The hosts needed to beat associate side UAE on Thursday to be assured of making the tournament in England and Wales in 2019.
But the result means new test teams Ireland and Afghanistan will play a virtual knockout match on Friday, with the winner qualifying for the World Cup and playing the West Indies in the qualification final on Sunday.
Zimbabwe could still qualify if Ireland and Afghanistan play to a low-scoring tie or there’s no result, but the chances of that are very low.
After UAE totalled 7-235 in 47.5 overs in an innings cut short by rain, Zimbabwe’s revised target was 230 in 40 overs but the African side was able to reach only 226-7.