Ireland Women’s record-breaking start to World T20 Qualifier campaign continues
The Ireland Women’s cricket team have made it two-from-two as they look to progress out of the Group Stage of the World T20 Qualifier, completing a comfortable victory over Scotland Women by 9 wickets in Amstelveen today.
Ireland Captain Laura Delany won the toss for the second consecutive match and again chose to make first use of the ball.
The Scottish side were restrained from the outset by some tight line-and-length bowling, combined by some intelligent tactical bowling switches by captain Delany.
The first wicket fell in the 6th over, when Lucy O’Reilly struck with her first ball, having opener Lorna Jack caught by Delany for 7. With the score at just 15, the Scots had the sister duo of Sarah and Kathryn Bryce to get the innings back on track, but the miserly bowling continued and runs came hard for the Scots.
A second wicket fell with the score on 63, when Skipper Delany removed her opposite number [Kathryn Bryce] for 12, but with the score at just 63-2 in the 14th over the Scots looked like they would have to defend a relatively low total. They finished on 98-2 from 20 overs, with Sarah Bryce one run short of a maiden half-century, stranded on 49* off 55 balls (two fours).
For Ireland, the entire six bowlers used performed well and kept the run rate in check. One highly encouraging sign for the Irish side was the return to the bowling crease of Kim Garth, who has gradually been nursed back to health after suffering an injury in her Sydney Sixers’ championship-winning effort in February in Australia.
Requiring 99 for victory, the Irish side set about the run-chase with confidence. Yesterday’s Player of the Match, Clare Shillington, once more starred with the bat reaching 47 from 39 balls (four fours) and fell just before the victory target was achieved. Shillington combined with Cecelia Joyce (35* off 47 balls; three fours) in a record-breaking first wicket partnership of 90 for Ireland Women in T20 Internationals.
Victory was achieved just nine balls later, and the Ireland total of 99-1 also represented the second best victory margin by wickets for Ireland in this form of the game.
Image: Clare Shillington on the way to 47
Clare Shillington was named Player of the Match for the second consecutive match. She had recently announced that retirement was on the horizon and she had played her last match for Ireland on home soil last week, so these awards are a testament to her tenacity to go out on a high and do her best to ensure Ireland has a successful campaign.
Post-match Shillington said:
“I think we pretty much won the game in the field today. I thought our bowlers were excellent - Dellers [Laura Delany] led with the ball, she was superb and very miserly with her runs.”
“It was great to see Kim Garth back with the ball in hand, I think everyone is delighted to see her back as she’s a real asset to our team. The job had been pretty much done by halfway and then Cecelia and I were able to take it home comfortably enough.”
Ireland’s third match in this Qualifier tournament is on Tuesday against Uganda, who bounced back from a thrashing by Scotland to beat Thailand today and keep their slim hopes of progression alive.
Scotland Women 98-2 (20 overs; S Bryce 49*; L Delany 1-13, L O’Reilly 1-22)
Ireland Women 99-1 (15.4 overs; C Shillington 47, C Joyce 35*; K Bryce 1-24)
Ireland Women won by 9 wickets
Full scorecard here: https://www.icc-cricket.com/match/8345#scorecard