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Irish women make top 10 and join men for trip to India

By Ian Callender

Ireland will be represented at the World Twenty20 in March in both tournaments after the Women's squad joined the men on the plane to India.

A comprehensive nine wickets victory over Scotland in yesterday's women's qualifier semi-final in Bangkok completed the 10-team line-up. Ireland will play Bangladesh in tomorrow's final to decide the tournament winners.

Batting second for the third time in their four games, Isobel Joyce's side followed up their eight wickets and seven wickets successes over the Netherlands and Zimbabwe in the group games, with their most complete all-round performance, dismissing the Scots for just 77 and then knocking off the runs inside 12 overs.

Clare Shillington, the only Ulster-born player in the squad, was the only batsman dismissed in the chase but her innings of 34 in 28 balls, with four fours and a six, was the best of the day.

Opening partner Cecilia Joyce enjoyed three 'lives', dropped on 19, 22 and 29 before finishing 36 not out, when Kim Garth hit the winning boundary.

For the second successive game, Ireland chose to field first and the bowlers set up the win with a dominant display which never let the Scots into the contest.

A first wicket stand of 24 was as good as it got for them, only three other partnerships got into double figures, and when three wickets fell for two runs in six balls in the middle of the innings, Scotland were reeling at 47 for five.

Robyn Lewis, 16-year-old daughter of former Ireland captain Alan, took two of those wickets and Lucy O'Reilly, four months her junior and daughter of Ireland international Peter, hurried the innings to a conclusion, taking the last three wickets in six balls.

The Ireland batters, striking the ball as powerfully as anyone in the tournament, were also in a hurry and when Cecilia Joyce hit three fours in the second over, she had equalled the number of boundaries in the Scotland innings.

Shillington followed up with three boundaries of her own in the next two overs and after that it was only a question of when Ireland could begin their celebrations. India here they come.

Belfast Telegraph


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