A century from Ireland batsman Andy Balbirnie has put the visiting Windies behind the eight-ball during the fourth match of the Walton Tri-Series in Dublin. 

Chennai Super Kings are a win away from successfully defending their Indian Premier League title after easing past Delhi Capitals and into the final courtesy of a six-wicket victory.

The Super Kings strangled the Capitals' batting line-up as Delhi disappointed in the second qualifier, in which they could only post 147-9.

And it was a total that proved easily within the grasp of Chennai, whose cause was aided significantly by excellent batting performances from Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson.

The duo each made half-centuries before Ambati Rayudu (20 not out) guided Chennai over the line with six balls to spare to set up a blockbuster final with Mumbai Indians on Sunday.

Shikhar Dhawan (18 off 14) and Colin Munro (27 off 24) each failed to build on strong starts, the impressive duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo combining to dismiss the latter, who swept to the West Indian at deep square leg.

Delhi captain Shreyas Iyer and Axar Patel went within nine balls of each other to leave them 80-5 and, though Rishabh Pant (38 off 25), recovered the situation somewhat, a sub-150 total proved well under par.

Du Plessis and Watson's 81-run opening-wicket stand put the Super Kings in a commanding position they never looked like relinquishing, four leg byes sealing the success.

BRAVO BUILDS THE FOUNDATION

The Super Kings' attack has been superb, throughout the tournament, with spinner Imran Tahir so often the star.

Yet he took something of a backseat as Bravo, Jadeja, Deepak Chahar and Harbhajan Singh each took two wickets apiece.

It was Bravo, though, who was the standout. Eleven of his deliveries were dot balls and he conceded just one boundary in his four overs.


DU PLESSIS & WATSON DO THE DAMAGE

Any hope of the Capitals replicating the Super Kings' bowling display was swiftly taken away by Chennai's top two.

They put on 81 in just 59 balls and there was no reprieve for Delhi even after Du Plessis (50) was caught at deep square leg after hitting seven fours and a six. 

Watson (50) piled further misery on the Capitals, bringing up his 31-ball fifty with a slice for six over long on and, when he holed out from the next delivery he faced, Chennai needed just 39 runs for victory.


CHENNAI EYE REVENGE

Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi all finished on 18 points in progressing to the play-offs, but the Super Kings' progression means the top two will contest the final.

They will need no extra motivation having lost to Mumbai in the first qualifier three days ago, and should be confident of gaining revenge after this emphatic triumph.

Rishabh Pant's explosive knock proved decisive as Delhi Capitals secured a narrow Indian Premier League eliminator win over Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The Capitals set up a showdown with defending champions Chennai Super Kings for a spot in the final after securing a two-wicket victory on Wednesday.

Sunrisers had posted a competitive 162-8 at Visakhapatnam, with Martin Guptill top scoring on 36, before a late spell of pressure with the ball ultimately came up short.

In a tense finish, the Capitals got over the line with a ball to spare to make it through to the qualifier, with Mumbai Indians awaiting in Sunday's final. 

PANT DOES THE DAMAGE

Pant (49) fell one run shy of a brilliant half century, but his contribution was telling nonetheless.

With opener Prithvi Shaw having struck a delicate balance between composure and opportunism to clock up a fine 56, Pant had the foundations on which to quickly build a match-winning innings.

And quickly was the operative word for the left-hander, whose 21-ball outing included five maximums.

He also struck a pair of boundaries before finally falling victim to a fuller delivery from Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2-42) in the 19th over – Mohammad Nabi taking the catch – but he had set the stage for his side's triumph. 

DELHI DARING IN POWERPLAY 

It was a testing total that Delhi had been set and they soon showed their attacking intent.

They were 55 without loss across the powerplay, asserting their authority early on.

It was a wobble in the final third of their innings that slowed things down, the Capitals losing some quick wickets as nerves seemed to set in.

Pant helped keep things on track until his dismissal left Keemo Paul (five not out) with the honour of knocking off the winning runs, with Chennai up next for Delhi.

Earlier, Paul had helped keep The Capitals in the game with a brilliant 3-32 from his four overs.

 

RASHID'S HEROICS IN VEIN

The relatively serene progress of Delhi towards their victory target was made significantly tougher by the assiduous bowling of Rashid Khan.

It was primarily his efforts that made the final 10 overs as dramatic as they were, taking the contest right down to the wire.

He allowed just 15 runs from his four overs and claimed two wickets, but ended up on the losing side.

Cricket West Indies has expressed sadness at the passing of Seymour Nurse, the outstanding batsman from Barbados, who represented the West Indies between 1960 and 1969.

Courtney Browne and Eldine Baptiste have filed suit against Cricket West Indies citing unfair dismissal from their jobs as West Indies selectors effective March 31, 2019.

Shai Hope and Chris Gayle have been named as the vice-captains of West Indies team for the Ireland Tri-Nation Series and ICC Cricket World Cup, respectively.

Shai Hope and John Campbell tormented Ireland with a record-breaking stand as West Indies started the Tri-Nation Series with a crushing 196-run win on Sunday.

Hope and Campbell combined for the highest one-day international opening partnership of 365 at Clontarf, where the Windies posted a mammoth 381-3 just under four weeks before their Cricket World Cup opener against Pakistan.

Their opening pair shattered the previous best of 304 and only just missed out on the biggest for any wicket in an ODI, which fellow West Indians Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels set with 372 against Zimbabwe in 2015.

Campbell smashed 179 from 137 balls - his maiden ODI hundred - and the classy Hope made 170 off 152 deliveries on a miserable afternoon for the Ireland bowlers, two days after they gave England a scare.

Barry McCarthy finally got the breakthrough by removing Campbell, who struck six sixes and 15 fours, and he also saw the back of Hope after the wicketkeeper-batsman had found the ropes 22 times and cleared the boundary twice.

Ireland were in the mire on 21-3 after Kemar Roach (2-28) struck twice in a lively early burst and Lorcan Tucker was pinned lbw.

Kevin O'Brien made 68, but Ashley Nurse took 4-51 and Shannon Gabriel claimed 3-44 as the Windies coasted to a second-biggest win against a full ICC member.

With the West Indies allowing a number of its players in the Indian Premier League to remain during a tour of Ireland for a tri-nation series involving Bangladesh, there is a rare opportunity for places at the ICC Cricket World Cup. 

The Jamaica Tallawahs and the Government of Jamaica have done away with their back and forth over support for the franchise in place of a long-term agreement.

Sunrisers Hyderabad are in danger of missing out on the final Indian Premier League play-off place after Shimron Hetmyer and Gurkeerat Singh Mann blasted half-centuries in a four-wicket win for Royal Challengers Bangalore. 

Explosive opener Chris Gayle has returned to the Jamaica Tallawahs for the 2019 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season.

This was revealed by Jefferson Miller, Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Tallawahs during the franchise's 2019 CPL season launch on Saturday at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.

Miller said Gayle has been signed as "their marquee player and will captain the team."

Miller further added that "we are delighted to have Chris playing for his home team for the 2019 season. There is no bigger name in Twenty20 cricket, and we can’t wait for him to arrive and make the Jamaican fans proud. We are looking forward to Chris being a big part of our push for a third CPL title.”  

Gayle was with the Tallawahs from 2013 to 2016, winning the title with them twice in that time. Since then he has been with St Kitts & Nevis Patriots where he has captained them to the playoffs in successive years, making the final in 2017. 

The Tallawahs will be playing five home games in Jamaica during the 2019 season giving the fans at Sabina Park the chance to see Gayle in action on his home ground.

The leading T20 batsman of all time, Gayle is the only player with more than 10,000 runs in the format. He is the leading CPL run scorer with 2111 runs and has scored three CPL hundreds, all of those for the Tallawahs. 

The rest of the Tallawahs squad will be decided at the Hero CPL Players Draft which takes place on May 22. 

This year, the CPL will bowl off in September for the first time.

The move to push back the competition was to ensure the availability of all West Indian players as the Caribbean side is set to host India between during July and August.

England marked Jofra Archer's international debut with an unconvincing ODI win over Ireland as Ben Foakes' half-century helped them avoid a shock defeat. 

Rain delayed the start of play at Malahide and saw the match reduced to 45 overs a side, but when proceedings did get underway it appeared poised to be a procession for the visitors. 

All-rounder Archer, left out of England's preliminary World Cup squad, stated his case to force his way in before May 23 with a maiden international wicket but was outshone by Liam Plunkett (4-35) and Tom Curran (3-35) with the ball. 

Their efforts saw Ireland bowled out for 198 and, although England at one point appeared in danger of a humiliating defeat at 66-5, Foakes (61 not out) and Curran (47 no) led the recovery and sealed a four-wicket win. 

William Porterfield and Paul Stirling initially coped well on a difficult pitch in overcast conditions but the latter's exit, which saw him chip Plunkett to a diving Archer at mid-on, opened the floodgates. 

The next three wickets fell for just 22 runs - Kevin O'Brien dismissed thanks to a superb diving catch from Joe Denly - with Andy Balbirnie cleverly stumped by Foakes after he and Gary Wilson steadied the ship. 

Mark Adair provided some resistance with 32 off 30 but became Archer's first international scalp to a scything yorker, the tail falling in short order thereafter. 

Yet some spectacular work in the field gave Ireland hope. George Dockrell's magnificent catch at midwicket saw the end of James Vince for 18 as Little shone, dismissing Eoin Morgan (0) and Dawid Malan (24) after Joe Root went to Tim Murtagh for seven. 

Denly toe-ended former England seamer Boyd Rankin to short midwicket to leave them in deep trouble and David Willey's exit gave Little a fourth wicket. 

However, Foakes and Curran ensured Ireland's hopes of an upset would be frustrated thanks to an unbeaten 98-run stand. 

ODI debutant Foakes began to gather steam in the 33rd over, in which he hit a six over fine leg and pierced the covers for four, but two overs later he was fortunate to survive an lbw appeal from Murtagh. 

Replays confirmed Foakes would have been out had Ireland reviewed – the ball shown to hitting the top of leg stump - but from there he and Curran were never in danger and steered England to victory with 18 balls to spare. 

West Indies assistant coach Roddy Estwick believes the coming tri-series against Ireland and Bangladesh presents an opportunity for the young players to gain experience and for the World-Cup bound players to get some useful match practice.

Jofra Archer will make his England debut in Friday's ODI against Ireland in Dublin, Eoin Morgan has confirmed.

The Sussex all-rounder's international career has been the subject of intense speculation after he became eligible to play for England in March.

He was left out of their preliminary squad for this year's Cricket World Cup but could be called up before a deadline of May 23.

And, having also been selected for a five-match series with Pakistan, Archer will aim to make a strong first impression at Malahide.

"He obviously brings a lot of excitement, along with skill level," captain Morgan told Sky Sports News.

"He's been around for the last few years, I've played against him, he's bowled extremely well when I've played against him.

"He's delighted. I think his mum and dad are over [in Ireland]. Debuts are all about celebrating what's gone before and recognising the start of a new journey and for Jofra it's obviously really exciting."

 The Social Development Commission (SDC), Wray & Nephew National Community T20 Cricket Competition, endorsed by the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), bowls off on Saturday, May 4, promising to bring communities closer together while sharing the spirit of Cricket.

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