Amy Hunter and Gaby Lewis compiled their third century partnership together in Abu Dhabi yesterday to set Ireland on the way to a comfortable 56-run victory over Zimbabwe in Group B of the T20 World Cup Qualifier.

After seeing off the UAE in their opening games, the Girls in Green will qualify for the semi-finals - and a do-or-die crack at reaching the finals in Bangladesh in the autumn - if they beat minnows Vanuatu tomorrow.

Hunter set Ireland on the way to a massive 176-3 with boundaries from each of the first three balls of the innings but it was Lewis who dominated their opening stand with a top-quality 69, containing nine fours and two maximums.

When the openers scorched past 100 in the 12th over, the result was no longer in doubt, and the only question was would the pair better their Irish record partnership of 138, set against the same opposition in January,

The answer was no, as Lewis holed out eight runs short, but Hunter continued to punish a side that she has scored centuries against in both short forms.

The Belfast teenager struck nine fours, with deft touches and her favourite array of shots behind the wicket, including one barely believable boundary past square leg from a full ball outside off. 

Hunter had faced 50 deliveries when she was caught behind for 71 in the 17th over, leaving the stage to Orla Prendergast who celebrated her 50th T20 international appearance with the biggest six of the tournament to date, over wide long on.

Zimbabwe never threatened to mount a challenge, despite a defiant 48 from skipper Mary-Anne Musonda, and without ever appearing at their sharpest, the Ireland attack restricted the chase to 120-8.