Hosts Ireland began their quest for a first ever World Cup spot with a comfortable win against Bermuda at Stormont.
After Middlesex run machine Ed Joyce helped himself to a scintillating century in Ireland’s biggest ever ICC Trophy score, the bowlers took control to complete a convincing 97-run win.
Irish skipper Jason Molins’ decision to bat first was proved right as they made 315 for eight, but not until the tournament hosts suffered an early scare as they were reduced to 62 for three after 15 overs.
Molins was first to go when he ran himself out for three trying to take a quick single off Lionel Cann at mid-on.
Jeremy Bray and Andre Botha took the score past 50 before Botha was stumped by Dan Minors off the bowling of Delyone Borden.
Borden then bowled Bray to leave Ireland in a spot of bother before Joyce and Middlesex colleague Eoin Morgan took control with a stand of 170 for the fourth wicket.
Morgan, showing confidence beyond his 18 years, even beat his senior partner to 50, from just 60 balls.
But the teenager fell seven short of a century when he nicked Cann to Minors.
Joyce, who was the first batsmen to 1,000 runs in the Frizzell County Championship this season, passed three figures soon after – his second 50 coming from just 36 balls.
Joyce fell to Janeiro Tucker for 103, but a quick-fire 23 from Peter Johnston helped Ireland past 300.
Bermuda openers Borden and Oliver Pitcher raced to 48 to give them a sniff before Andrew White ran out Borden for 29.
Saleem Mukuddem and Irvine Romaine failed to threaten the Irish total and when Pitcher skied Andrew White to Joyce at mid-wicket the Bermudans were 101 for four.
Skipper Clay Smith and Albert Steede added a patient 68 for the fifth wicket to get Bermuda back in the hunt before White removed Steede for 20.
To add insult to injury Smith had to retire in the 34th over when he pulled a hamstring as he scampered through for a quick single.
Tucker impressed as he made an unbeaten 53, but he used the final 10 overs as batting practice rather than chase the asking rate of 15 runs an over and settled for a total of 218 for six.
Ireland now take on Uganda, at Comber tomorrow in their second ICC Trophy fixture.