COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Rain gave back to West Indies what it appeared it may have stolen from them a few days earlier, sending them through to the quarter-final stage of the ICC World Twenty20 Tournament, following a no-result with Ireland yesterday.
Chris Gayle and the other Windies big guns did not even get a chance to fire, rain preventing them from starting the chase, after Ireland limped to 129 for six from their rain-reduced 19 overs in the Group-B match at the Premadasa Stadium.
Gayle captured the headlines in another way, taking 2-21 from three overs, as Ireland never mounted a serious threat with the bat, after they were put in to bat.
The result meant that both teams gained one point each, but the Caribbean side advanced with Group B winners Australia into the next round due to a superior net run-rate.
West Indies will have been placed in Group One of the Super Eights, which start on Thursday, with defending champions England, recent opponents New Zealand and hosts Sri Lanka.
An hour-long stoppage for rain spoiled what had promised to be a compelling match with both sides chasing a place in the Super Eights.
The Windies would have been anxious, following their defeat against Australia last Saturday by 17 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis Method, when rain similarly intervened.
Before a small crowd, the match started well for West Indies, when Fidel Edwards bowled William Porterfield for a duck with a lethal yorker from the first ball of the match.
It was the second time the Ireland captain had suffered such a fate, following his dismissal in his side's first match against Australia, when Shane Watson scalped him.
The Windies met some resistance, when Paul Stirling and Ed Joyce carried Ireland to 33 for one from five overs with some lusty hitting before rain stopped play.
After the break, Sunil Narine had Joyce bowled behind his back for 17 before Stirling miscued a pull and was caught at deep midwicket off Sammy for 19 in the next over, leaving Ireland 37 for three.
The Caribbean side kept their composure, when Gary Wilson came to the crease and put on 33 for the fourth wicket with joined Niall O'Brien before he was caught behind off Gayle 21 in the 12th over.
Andre Russell and Edwards suffered at the hands of the O'Brien brothers, Niall and Kevin, when they were dispatched for a six each.
Russell was hooked over long-leg by Niall before Edwards was lofted by Kevin over long-off before Gayle brought the fun to an end.
Bowling his uncomplicated off-spin darts, Gayle bowled Niall with a well-pitched delivery in the 16th over before Ireland reached 100, and Ravi Rampaul followed up, when Kevin moved too far outside the off-stump and was bowled for 13.
A few more loose deliveries in the closing overs allowed Nigel Jones, not out on 14, and Trent Johnston, not out on 15, to add some respectability to the Ireland total.