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Women's World T20
Warmup: Ireland lost to Sri Lanka by 2 runs
Stellenbosch, 6 February.
Sri Lanka 149/5 (20 overs: Harshitha Samarawickrama 56* (ret.hurt), Vishmi. Gunaratne 36, Chamari Athapaththu 27; Laura Delany 3-20)
Ireland 147 (19.5 overs: Gaby Lewis 38, Arlene Kelly 30, Laura Delany 21; Oshadi Ranasinghe 3-22, Inoka Ranaweera 3-26)
So close to a win for Ireland who needed four off the final over only to fall three runs short of a famous victory. Ireland had asked Sri Lanka to bat first in this first of two ‘official’ warmup matches, the game listed as 15-a-side (11 batting, 11 bowling). Sri Lanka had moved to 71/1 at the halfway stage and were 133 before Eimear Richardson picked up the wicket of Gunaratne with the final delivery of her four over spell. There were three twentieth over wickets for skipper Laura Delany as Sri Lanka set Ireland a target of 150 to win. There was a flying start to the reply by Gaby Lewis who found the boundary with ease but lost partner Amy Hunter who was bowled for 5. Ireland lost a second in the Powerplay as Prendergast departed, but it was still a decent start to a tough chase. Just when it looked as if Ireland were getting on top they lost two quick wickets, as Lewis and Richardson departed in quick succession. Ireland were 73/4 at the halfway point, up with the asking rate and with skipper Laura Delany and Louise Little in the middle. Two balls later the Drinks break had claimed Little, stumped for 11 to give Ranasinghe her third wicket. A tough but doable 49 needed off six overs became tougher when Delany was run out but Ireland were right back in the game when 15 came from the 16th over with Leah Paul and Arlene Kelly striking some lusty blows. A six from Kelly and suddenly Ireland were favourites only 15 needed off 15 balls. Arlene Kelly hit another six taking 11 off the penultimate over to leaves just four needed from the last. A dramatic start as Cara Murray is trapped lbw to leave 3 needed off 3 balls. With last batter Jane Maguire at the crease it was heartbreak as Kelly was run out off the penultimate ball trying to get the strike. So near but yet so far. Next up it's Australia on Wednesday for the Girls in Green. Warmups don't come much tougher than that but they will be heartened by today's performance with the bat.
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