Wednesday, May 22, 2024

T20 World Cup qualifying: Ireland beat Vanuatu by nine wickets

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Ireland made it through to the semi-finals of the Twenty20 World Cup qualifying in Abu Dhabi by beating Vanuatu by nine wickets on Wednesday.

Ireland restricted their opponents to 88-9 from their 20 overs before reaching the target with 45 balls to spare.

It was their third win in qualifying after they defeated the United Arab Emirates by six wickets in their opening game last week before beating Zimbabwe by 56 runs on Monday.

They are now one win away from reaching the World Cup in Bangladesh in September.

After winning the toss and opting to field first, Ireland restricted Vanuatu to just 24 from their six over powerplay.

Ava Canning picked up the opening wicket, bowling Rachel Andrew for seven.

Valenta Langiatu and Nasimana Navaika then frustrated the Irish bowlers until Arlene Kelly bowled the former for 27 from 31 balls.

Eimear Richardson soon accounted for both Navaika (19) and Alvina Chilian as Vanuatu moved from 58-1 to 64-3 in just 16 deliveries.

Richardson returned 3-8 from her four overs, including one maiden. Kelly (2-15) and captain Laura Delany (2-10) were also excellent with the ball.

Hunter (34*) and Lewis once again impressed, making a partnership of 82. The latter passed 2,000 T20I runs for her country in the process of their way to victory.

She eventually departed for 40 but, with just seven runs required, it had no bearing on the result.

Ireland’s final game in Group B is on Friday against the Netherlands at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.

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