Isobel Joyce (Photo: ICC)Joyce stars again as Ireland gain semi-final spot

Ireland 305-5 (50 overs, I Joyce 70, Shillington 70)
Zimbabwe 97 all out (29.5 overs, I Joyce 5-17)

Ireland claimed a spot in the semi-final of the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier after a comprehensive 208 run win over Zimbabwe, with another brilliant performance from Isobel Joyce.

And captain Heather Whelan believes that her side has a great chance of shocking hosts South Africa tomorrow in what promises to be a fascinating match up with both teams knowing victory will secure a place at the ICC Women's World Cup in 2009.

She said: 'It really has come together for us today. We're delighted and we know we have to keep up this level of performance for the match against South Africa.

'It's going to be a very tough match and they are a good side but if our batting, bowling and fielding comes together we're going to have a very good chance and hopefully win.'

All of the Irish girls to bat made double figures as they registered an impressive 305-5 in their 50 overs, after they won the toss and batted.

Isobel Joyce once again top scored for her side, with 70, but Clare Shillington (57), Caitriona Beggs (41) and Nicola Coffey (36*) all made contributions.

In reply, it was Isobel Joyce who once again starred as she took five wickets with an excellent spell of bowling.

Ireland's victory also ensured that they maintain their ODI status, as a semi-final place at this event guarantees that a side will remain in the top ten of the world rankings.

Shah stars as Pakistan win again

Pakistan 278-8 (50 overs, Shah 74, Mir 52, Maroof 50)
Scotland 26 all out (28.3 overs, Shah 3-6)

Pakistan set up a semi-final clash with the Netherlands at the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier with a crushing 252-run defeat of Scotland.

And Player of the Match Sajjida Shah, who received the award for an outstanding all round performance, was delighted with her side's efforts and is hoping for an equally impressive tomorrow where victory will seal a place at the ICC Women's World Cup in 2009.

'I am very happy to be the top run scorer and to be the top wicket taker' said Shah. 'I am very confident about the team's performance. I am really hopeful that we will be able to reach the Final.

'The feeling would be unexplainable if we do manage to reach the World Cup and it would mean so much to me to be part of the team to achieve this.'

Batting first, Pakistan's total of 278-8 in 50 overs was always going to be too much for an inexperienced Scotland side.

Sajjida Shah top scored with 74, while Sana Mir (52) and Bismah Maroof (50) also scored half centuries, although Kari Anderson registered a five-wicket haul for Scotland with figures of 5-61.

In reply the Scottish batting crumbled under the pressure of some aggressive and accurate Pakistani bowling.

Sajjida Shah was again the star, as she took 3-6, while Asmavia Iqbal (2-5) and Sana Mir (2-7) were also amongst the wickets.

Scotland will now face Papua New Guinea on Friday, who today defeated Bermuda, in the rankings play-offs.

Brilliant Brits helps hosts remain unbeaten

South Africa 277-4 (50 overs, Brits 107, Minny 73, Smith 45)
Netherlands 50 all out (41.4 overs, Kilowan 3-8)

A brilliant century from South African skipper Cri-Zelda Brits helped South Africa maintain their unbeaten run at the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier.

Brits, who became the first centurion at the tournament, batted for over three hours for her unbeaten 107 as South Africa defeated the Netherlands by 227 runs in their final group game.

And Brits admitted that her side is full of confidence ahead of their semi-final tomorrow against Ireland, with the winner of that match qualifying for the ICC Women's World Cup in 2009.

'We wanted to put three in the bag and we've done that. I'm very happy that everybody chipped in' said Brits.

'We know there's a challenge there for us and we know that to qualify we need to win the game. Tomorrow is more like a final for us.'

South Africa, who elected to bat after winning the toss, recovered well from the loss of Daleen Terblanche in the opening over of the game to post a formidable total of 277-4.

Brits, who became the fifth South African woman to score an ODI hundred, was well supported by an excellent innings of 73 by Annelie Minny, while Alicia Smith's cameo innings of 45 from just 30 balls, including a huge six, was also outstanding.

And Brits admitted it was nice to finally get a century for her country.

'It's been a long time coming. My coach has been waiting for me to score one for ages now so it's nice to get one and hopefully I can get a couple more' she said.

In reply, the Netherlands lost early wickets and struggled to come to grips with a strong South African attack as they collapsed to 50 all out.

As for the Netherlands, skipper Helmien Rambaldo admitted that her side had faced a tough match but is full of hope ahead of tomorrow's semi-final against Pakistan.

She said: 'It's a massive game. It's our big focus and we're hoping to do well. That's the game that matters.'

Amini inspires Papua New Guinea's first victory

Papua New Guinea 223-9 (50 overs, Amini 65, Furbert 3-60)
Bermuda 44 all out (30.2 overs, Lumis 3-10 and Siaka 3-11)

Papua New Guinea recorded their first win at the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier after a 179-run defeat of Bermuda.

Kune Amini produced a captain's performance to win the Player of the Match Award for her top score of 65 in her side's total of 223-9.

Bermuda once again struggled with the bat in reply, as Karo Lumis 3-10 and Pauke Siako 3-11 tore through the line up reducing them to 44 all out.

'I am really pleased with all of my team' said Amini. 'It was really nice to score some runs as well. I just wish I could have batted for longer but I was so tired.'

In the rankings play-offs on Friday, Papua New Guinea face Scotland, while Bermuda will take on Zimbabwe.