Ireland Women battle hard but lose to Bangladesh in their opening game in T20 World Cup Qualifier
ABU DHABI – Despite a battling all-round display led by Eimear Richardson, Ireland Women suffered an opening day defeat in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier against Bangladesh in Abu Dhabi.
Bangladesh captain Niger Sultana Joty’s 67, along with the bowling of Salam Khatun (3-18) were the stand-out performers for Ireland’s opponents in a game that was played out in very humid conditions, and under the lights at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Temperatures had peaked at 38 degrees celsius during the day, by evening it was still 29 degrees. After winning the toss, Bangladesh elected to bat first, perhaps looking to take advantage of early evening conditions before the infamous Abu Dhabi dew took effect.
Ireland’s bowlers were loose early, partly as a result of sweat making it difficult to get a solid grip on the ball. However, the Irish bowling unit stuck to their task and Eimear Richardson was rewarded with the wicket of Murshida Khatun (16) in the fifth over. The right-arm spinner came around the wicket and got the ball to turn into the left-hander, hitting her on the back leg, adjudged lbw.
The re-introduction of Richardson, bowling in tandem with captain Laura Delany, slowed the run-rate mid-way through the innings, with Shamima Sultana and Joty moving the score to 88-1 after 14 overs. With the third ball of the fifteenth over Delany broke the excellent 62-run partnership, as she trapped Sultana (48) lbw, just two runs short of her half-century.
Despite the loss of Sobhana Mostary (4), Bangladeshi captain Joty went on to score 67 off 53 balls, with 39 of those coming in the final three overs, before she fell with the last ball attempting a six towards long off. Bangladesh finished on 143-4 from their 20 overs.
Needing a positive start, Ireland lost opener Gaby Lewis for 0 after paddling the ball onto her own stumps. Orla Prendergast followed shortly after when she nicked one behind.
Delany joined Amy Hunter to stabilise the innings – with both batters looking very composed at the crease - however, after a third-wicket partnership of 45, Hunter (32) was run out leaving the Irish innings at 50-3 in the tenth over.
When Delany (28) fell in the 13th over Ireland’s run-chase looked forlorn, but an entertaining late cameo from Eimear Richardson gave Ireland a distant hope. What Richardson needed was a partner to stay with her, but wickets tumbled and hopes – however faint – were dashed. Richardson eventually fell for 40 from 26 balls as Ireland fell 14-runs short.
Ireland will look to re-ignite their qualifying campaign tomorrow when they face the USA at 4pm (Irish time).
Bangladesh v Ireland, T20 World Cup Qualifier, Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi, 18 September 2022
Bangladesh 143-4 (20 overs; N Joty 67, S Sultana 48; E Richardson 1-20)
Ireland 129 (19.4 overs; E Richardson 40, A Hunter 33; S Khatun 3-19)
Bangladesh won by 14 runs
See full scorecard