Ireland made the perfect start to their World T20 Qualifier campaign with a convincing 7-wicket victory over Thailand in Utrecht today.
Ireland Captain Laura Delany won the toss and sent Thailand into bat beneath blue, sunny skies. The Thailand innings struggled to get going, with only 31-year old left-hand top order batter Nattaya Boochatham getting to grips with the Irish attack. Her innings of 41 off 50 balls included six boundaries, and was her highest T20 International score.
For Ireland the bowling unit executed the perfect T20 game plan, restricting runs and taking regular wickets. 18-year old Lucy OíReilly claimed 3-23 (4 overs), while the experienced Isobel Joyce took 2-12 (4 overs).
In response, opener Clare Shillington continued her good form with an innings of 38 off 32 balls (4 x fours, 1 x six), following on from her innings of 37 on Thursday against Papua New Guinea. Two wickets in two balls in the 12th over saw the loss of Shillington and the in-form Gaby Lewis, but Isobel Joyce (15*) and Laura Delany (12*) demonstrated cool-heads and steered Ireland home with 3.4 overs to spare.
For Thailand, captain Sornnarin Tippoch was the pick of the bowlers with 3-12 from four overs.
Irelandís second match is tomorrow against Scotland, who had a convincing nine-wicket victory over Uganda today.