A fiery four-wicket spell from pace bowler Alzarri Joseph helped the two-time champion West Indies storm past Zimbabwe by 31 runs to keep their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup dreams alive on Wednesday.

After being shocked by Scotland in their opening match on Monday, they had no margin for error if they wanted to stay in the hunt for a place in the Super 12 stage.

They accomplished the feat with 10 balls to spare, dismissing Zimbabwe for 122 after setting them 154 to win.

The dangerous Joseph was instrumental, taking 4-16 while Jason Holder chipped in with 3-12.

The victory means they meet Ireland on Friday with the winner going through to the next round when the big guns join the tournament, while Zimbabwe face Scotland in a winner-takes-all tie.

Skipper Nicholas Pooran won the toss and opted to bat against a Zimbabwe side without captain Craig Ervine, who suffered a “mild asthmatic attack” before the game.

They were aggressive early on, but paid the price with Kyle Mayers (13) top-edging Blessing Muzarabani to wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva, who was deputising as skipper.

Johnson Charles found his groove and unleashed in the ninth over, hitting 6-4-4 off Ryan Burl to get the scoreboard moving before Evin Lewis mistimed a heave down the ground off Sikandar Raza and was caught.

Pooran fell for seven and when Charles was comically run out for 45 in a mix-up with Rovman Powell, the West Indies were reeling.

Zimbabwe kept the pressure on. Raza trapped Shamarah Brooks lbw, and then caught and bowled Holder with the West Indies losing four wickets for 11 runs in 12 balls to leave them on 101-6.

Powell (28) and Akeal Hosein (23 not out) steadied the ship and threw the bat in a late flourish to ensure they set a competitive target.

In reply, Zimbabwe slammed 18 in a nightmare first over from Mayers.

Undeterred, the Caribbean side made a breakthrough in the third over when Regis Chakabva dragged the ball onto his stumps off Joseph.

Joseph took his second with a lightning delivery to remove Tony Munyonga and Sean Williams fell two balls later as the pressure began building for Zimbabwe.

Allrounder Raza slammed 82 off 48 balls in Zimbabwe’s first match on Monday, but he was out for 14 and when Joseph came back in the attack he shattered the stumps of Richard Ngarava and Luke Jongwe to end any hope they had.

Ireland upset Scotland with stunning comeback

Ireland pulled off a stunning six-wicket upset of Scotland at the Twenty20 World Cup on Wednesday with George Dockrell and Curtis Campher starring in a 119-run partnership after they looked out for the count.

In perfect conditions at Bellerive Oval in Hobart, the Scots powered to 176-5 – the tournament’s highest score so far on the back of 86 from Michael Jones – then reduced the Irish to 65-4 after 10 overs.

But Campher (69 off 32 balls) and Dockrell (39 off 27) came to the crease and unleashed some fireworks to steer them home against the odds with an over to spare.

It was their first win of the tournament after crashing to Zimbabwe on Monday and leaves Group B wide open.

“Pretty special, I can’t remember a more important partnership,” said Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie after their highest ever successful run chase at a World Cup.

“We have played some great cricket throughout the year, only to fall away towards the end, but credit to the guys for the partnership.”

They had a shaky start, losing Balbirnie and Paul Stirling cheaply to make their task even harder.

Lorcan Tucker (20) and Harry Tector (14) put on 28 before both departed within six balls as they crumbled to 65-4 after 10 overs and it looked all but over.

But the momentum shifted with Dockrell and Campher at the crease as they began swinging the bat, hitting 18 off one Mark Watt over.

They reduced the runs needed to 52 off the last five overs and kept the pressure on to get over the finishing line.

“The aim was to take early wickets, put them under pressure, but credit to Campher and Dockrell for that flawless partnership, they took the game away from us,” said Scotland skipper Richard Berrington.

“Positives with the bat, I thought Jones was superb all through the innings.”

Jones smacked a blistering 86 off 55 balls as Scotland looked to build on their stunning 42-run upset of two-time champions West Indies on Monday.

It was the highest score at the tournament and the best ever by a Scot at a T20 World Cup.

They also made a shaky start after winning the toss and choosing to bat with opener George Munsey, who starred against the West Indies, lasting just two balls.

Matthew Cross joined Jones and they put on a breezy 59. But Cross was undone when Campher came into the attack and he was deceived by a slower delivery, caught for 28.

Jones played beautifully and brought up his maiden T20 half-century off 38 balls with a single, ably supported by Berrington (37) then Michael Leask (17) before eventually falling in the penultimate over.