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PERMUTATIONS: What the Proteas need to happen between Ireland and Bangladesh to secure their World Cup spot

The Proteas are currently in possession of the final qualifying spot for the Cricket World Cup and they are the only team who can still be knocked out of the top eight.

Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

The Proteas are currently in possession of the final qualifying spot for the Cricket World Cup and they are the only team who can still be knocked out of the top eight.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

In order for that to happen Ireland will need to whitewash Bangladesh in their ODI series taking place in the coming week.

Ireland could find themselves missing out even if they win all three matches as they also need to overhaul South Africa on net run rate.

Further, Ireland will have to avoid picking up any further over-rate penalties as just one docked point will obliterate their chances of qualification through the Cricket World Cup Super League.

Ireland are the nominal home team for the series but all three matches will take place on English soil at Chelmsford in Essex.

The venue hasn’t hosted an ODI this century with its last matches at that level coming during the 1999 Cricket World Cup and it is a notoriously windswept arena.

The conditions might play into Ireland’s hands but they could just act as an equalizer.

Bangladesh had their warm-up match rained off but should still be the clear favourites in this series.

The Tigers don’t have to secure their own qualification having already done enough to reach the showpiece tournament.

Bangladesh were more than a match for Ireland in their recent tour to the Asian country and they have only lost two ODIs across the history of matches between the nations in the format.

Ireland does own an upset win over England in the current Cricket World Cup Super League cycle but hurt their chances with a 2-1 series loss to the Netherlands.

The shared series between Ireland and the Proteas will come under the spotlight if the Irish are able to pull the rug out from undernath the South Africans.

Ireland won the second match of that series after the first was rained off and that formed part of a sequence of results that spelt trouble for the Proteas.

Any sort of mixed results for Ireland will not be enough but each success they can achieve will build confidence and belief that they can get over the line.

The Proteas can’t do anything about their position now and should they lose out on their place will have a second chance in the qualifier tournament in June and July.

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