Shillington soars as Ireland impress again
Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
IRELAND are well on their way to the Women’s World Twenty20 in West Indies this year after completing the formality of a second victory in the qualifying tournament in the Netherlands yesterday.
After their seven wickets win over Thailand on Saturday, the Irish girls restricted Scotland to 98-2 and strolled to their target for only the loss of Clare Shillington’s wicket in the 16th over.
Shillington – the only Ulster-born player in the team with Cara Murray not making the starting line-up – was named Player of the Match for the second successive day following up her 38 against Thailand with 47 in a record first wicket stand of 90 with Cecilia Joyce who finished 35 not out.
Ireland’s final group game is tomorrow against Uganda, who were bowled out for 43 by the Scots on Saturday, and Laura Delany’s side then need to win only their semi-final on Thursday against the runner-up in the other group to qualify for West Indies in October.
The only team seeded higher than Ireland this week is Bangladesh, who will be their opponents in Saturday’s final – which will only decide which group the teams go into in the finals – unless there is at least one almighty shock in the semi-finals.
Ireland’s only disappointment yesterday was they were unable to take more than two wickets but none of the six bowlers used went for more than a run a ball, with Delany the most economical – and joint most successful – with 1-13 from her four overs.
Kim Garth, who was also given her first bowl after sustaining an injury playing for the Sydney Sixers in the Women’s Big Bash during the winter, conceded only seven from her two overs and her return along with Lucy O’Reilly, the other wicket-taker yesterday, will be a huge boost to the Ireland attack in the tougher matches ahead.
Chasing such a modest total, the Ireland openers were content to wait for the bad ball and nudge the singles – they hit only eight fours, which was still twice as many as Scotland – with Shillington’s 47 coming off 39 balls and Joyce taking 47 balls over her 35.