The first upset win of the tournament came yesterday when Ireland defeated West Indies. The West Indies batted first and the game followed the same pattern as the previous four matches with the first team scoring 300 or more runs. In the other games, the chasing teams all failed to exceed the score but in this case, Ireland proved well up to the challenge of the WI total of 304/7 and reached it comfortably in 46 overs with four wickets in hand.
Although this is technically an upset, it was not too surprising because even I predicted that the struggling West Indies was the most vulnerable of the top eight ranked teams to not make the quarter-finals and could be deposed by Ireland or Zimbabwe.
Ireland can make into the quarterfinals if they beat Zimbabwe (which will not be easy) and the UAE, and WI lose their matches to South Africa, India, and Pakistan (which is quite likely). Ireland beat Pakistan in 2007 to make it to the quarterfinals and beat England in a qualifying round in 2011, so they are showing themselves t0 be consistently serious contenders.
With Zimbabwe showing good form as well, the lower-ranked teams are giving the higher-ranked ones a run for the money. The next three days sees Scotland, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and the UAE playing their first games and it will be interesting to see if they too show that they are capable of pulling off upsets.