South Africa seal final automatic qualification spot for World Cup


South Africa have sealed the final automatic qualification spot for the World Cup after Ireland's hopes of pipping them were dashed on Tuesday when their first one-day international against Bangladesh was washed out.

South Africa played their last ODI series in the qualification period that ends this week against the Netherlands and had beaten them 2-0 to move up to eighth in the World Cup Super League.

Their hopes of playing in the tournament in India this year hinged on Ireland not beating Bangladesh 3-0 in the ODI series in Chelmsford, with net run rate also coming into play.

Bangladesh, who have already qualified, set a target of 247 to win in 50 overs but the game was called off when Ireland were 65-3 in the 17th over. The innings required at least 20 overs to be completed to get a result.

South Africa join hosts India, reigning champions England, Australia, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan in qualifying for the World Cup which begins in October.

Ireland can still qualify with two more spots yet to be decided when they play in a 10-team qualifying tournament in June-July. Other teams involved in the qualifier include two former champions -- Sri Lanka and the West Indies.

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