Ireland's Mission Impossible to automatically qualify for the World Cup finals was officially terminated yesterday by the rain in Chelmsford.

Thunder and lightning hit the ground in the middle of a torrential downpour just before 6pm and with Ireland’s innings having used up only 16.3 overs, the match was declared a no result, the five points for both teams ending Ireland’s chances of catching South Africa for the eighth and final qualifying place at the finals in October.

So although Ireland and Bangladesh have two more matches to play, on Friday and Sunday, Andrew Balbirnie and his squad will be Zimbabwe-bound in the middle of next month to try and claim the last two places in India. But with Sri Lanka and West Indies plus the Netherlands, Scotland and the hosts also in the competition it will be a huge ask.

Their final meaningful match in the World Cup Super League summed up their tournament, a case of so near yet so far.

At just after halfway, Ireland had reduced Bangladesh to 122 for five but a partnership of 65, prolonged by a drop catch by Harry Tector of all people, let them off the hook and the last four wickets added another 59 runs to get the Tigers up to 246 for nine.

Ireland’s reply was barely better than Bangladesh's, with Paul Stirling hitting left armer Shoriful Islam for six and then cutting his next ball straight to backward point and Balbirnie had his off stump uprooted in the next over to leave Ireland 27 for two.

Stephen Doheny and Tector saw the team safely to drinks but two balls later, Doheny drove straight back at slow left armer Taijul Islam. Seven balls later, though, rain had the final say.

At the start of the day all eyes were on the returning Josh Little, back for one week only from the Indian Premier League but although he had Litton Das lbw in his first over, it would be his only success until his eighth over and he conceded at least one boundary in every over in between.

Mark Adair - winning his 100th cap - was more consistent in line and length although he too had to wait even longer for his second wicket, after having Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal caught in his second over.

The pick of the pacemen was Waringstown’s Graham Hume who conceded only two boundaries - in his first and last overs – and claimed the wicket of the world’s No 1 all-rounder Shakib al-Hasan.

George Dockrell was brought to try and break the right-handers’ sixth wicket stnacd and he did just that in his fourth over, to claim his 299th dismissal for Ireland. Only the greats, Dermott Monteith and Jimmy Boucher have more.