Brilliant Pakistan shock Ireland

Action from Pakistan v IrelandA brilliant team performance from Pakistan gave them an opening day 57-run victory at the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier over a strongly fancied Ireland side.

Sana Mir was named Player of the Match for her brilliant spell of 2-17, but captain Urooj Mumtaz was absolutely delighted with all of her side's efforts

She said: 'The girls did exceptionally well and I am extremely proud to be captain of the Pakistan side. It was a great team effort everybody contributed with the bat and the ball and the fielding was excellent.

'Pulling off this victory gives the team a lot of confidence for the rest of the week.'

An excellent opening partnership of 60 set Pakistan on their way, after winning the toss and batting, with Tasqeen Qadeer (30) and Bismah Maroof (18), both in good touch.

Although many Pakistan players got themselves in, nobody went onto make a big score, although six run outs, five of which involved Isobel Joyce, didn't help their cause and in the end they may have felt that 165-9 wasn't going to be enough.

Ireland started strongly in reply, but once their opening partnership of 40 was ended, they lost regular wickets against a well balanced Pakistani bowling line-up, with only the Joyce sisters making more than twenty.

Irish skipper Heather Whelan was left disappointed by the result and thought there was plenty of work to do in both the batting and bowling departments.

She said: 'Bowling wise we need to cut out our wides and no balls we bowled far too many wides which is not acceptable at this level.

'Batting wise our top batters really need to start coming through for us in the next rest of the tournament.'

Pakistan faces Zimbabwe tomorrow, while Ireland will be hoping to improve their performance levels against Scotland.

Dutch start with a win

Dutch skipper Helmien Rambaldo was delighted to get her side's ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier campaign off to a winning start as they defeated Papua New Guinea by 8 wickets.

After reducing their opponents to 102 all out, with PNG captain Kune Amini top scoring with a patient 32 off 65 balls, the Netherlands knocked off their target with 21.4 overs to spare.

'It was a good win and we were very pleased with the game today. We bowled well and we batted well so we are very happy' said Rambaldo.

Having travelled to South Africa from cold conditions back at home, the Netherlands' batters had a chance to spend some valuable time in the middle with De Beest (34*), Wattenberg (20*) and Rambaldo (17) all making contributions.

Rambaldo also paid tribute to her opponents who were playing their first ever competitive game on a turf wicket.

'I think they did well. They were really trying to score runs and we're all very impressed with their bowling side. They have good pace bowling.'

As for PNG, Amini was happy with their start to the campaign.

'We've never played on turf before so we tried our best and got some runs' she said. 'It was a good experience and we want to improve in the next couple of games.'

Zimbabwe victorious over Scotland

Zimbabwe recorded a comfortable 75-run win over Scotland on the opening day of the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier in Stellenbosch.

Batting first, 37 from Yvonne Rainsford helped her side to 147 all out, with the wickets shared amongst the Scottish bowling attack. In reply, a young Scottish side never really looked like reaching their target, with captain Fiona Urquhart the only player to register double figures with the bat, as they stumbled to 72 all out.

'The whole team is excited and looking forward to the next game' said Zimbabwe skipper Julia Chibhabha. 'It was a good all round performance by everybody today.'

As for Scotland, Urquhart had mixed feelings on her side's performance. 'We fielded really well, we bowled well in spells. It was just our batting which let us down.'

And she is well aware that Ireland, who suffered a shock 57-run defeat to Pakistan, will be desperate to register their first win of the event tomorrow.

'Ireland will be very tough. They will want to come out well after today's result' she said. 'We're just going to get together tonight and discuss how we can improve our game and build from there.'

South Africa dismiss Bermuda for just 13

South Africa started their ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier campaign with an easy 10-wicket win over Bermuda at Stellenbosch University.

An excellent individual display from Sunette Loubser, who was left with incredible figures of 6-3 in just four overs, reduced their opposition, who were making their debut in this competition, to just 13 all out.

And it took just four legitimate balls for the hosts to knock off the runs required for victory.

Loubser said: 'It's obviously the start we wanted. For us this is the start of the 2009 World Cup. That's the only reason why we're playing. Our assistant coach said that we must play disciplined, team cricket. That's the way we will be successful at the end of this tournament.'

Linda Mienzer, captain of Bermuda, was obviously disappointed by the result but remains proud of the fact her team are even playing at this event.

'I am extremely proud and our team is very proud to be here. Just a year and a half ago there was no women's programme so we went to Canada and qualified to come here which is an achievement in itself' says Mienzer.

'In terms of women's cricket in Bermuda, it has come a long way but we still have a long way to go.'

South Africa take on Papua New Guinea, at Van Der Stel Cricket Club, tomorrow and Loubser is very much looking forward to that game.

She said: 'Once again we know nothing about the opposition tomorrow so we will go into that game with exactly the same mindset as today and play good aggressive cricket.'