Thursday, May 30, 2024

To the semi-finals we go – Cricket Ireland

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Abu Dhabi, UAE – Ireland Women booked their spot in the semi-finals of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier courtesy of a dominant, nine-wicket win over Vanuatu on Wednesday.

Having won both of their first matches in Group B, Ireland knew victory would secure their spot in the semi-finals.

Vanuatu, meanwhile, had stunned Zimbabwe with a six-wicket victory in their first game before a 100-run defeat to the Netherlands.

Ireland avoided any upset by restricting their opposition to just 88-9 from their 20 overs before knocking off the target with 45 balls to spare.

The run chase was yet another exhibition in T20I batting from opening pair Amy Hunter and Gaby Lewis, who have now made partnerships of 52, 130 and 82 across the first three matches of the tournament.

After winning the toss and opting to field first, Ireland initially restricted Vanuatu to just 24 from their six over powerplay. Ava Canning picked up the opening wicket, bowling Rachel Andrew for 7.

The pair of Valenta Langiatu and Nasimana Navaika then frustrated the Irish bowlers until Arlene Kelly bowled the former for a well-made 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 superb figures of 3-8 from her four overs, including one maiden, in a devastating spell of spin bowling. Kelly (2-15) and captain Laura Delany (2-10) were also excellent with the ball.

Hunter (34*) and Lewis made light work of that total, with the latter passing 2,000 T20I runs for her country in the process of their march to victory. Lewis eventually departed for 40 but, with just seven runs required at the time, 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.

With Ireland boasting a significantly better net run-rate than the Dutch – who have four points after three matches, compared to Ireland’s six – they are now likely to finish at the top of their group, which would set up a semi-final against either Scotland or Thailand as runners-up in Group A.

MATCH SUMMARY

Ireland v Vanuatu, T20I, Tolerance Oval, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates — 1 May 2024

Vanuatu 88-9 (20 overs; V Langiatu 27, N Navaika 19; E Richardson 3-8, L Delany 2-10, A Kelly 2-15)
Ireland 89-1 (12.3 overs; G Lewis 45, A Hunter 34*) 

Ireland won by 9 wickets

See full scorecard

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