Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
Ireland captain Laura Delany had to fight back tears in her press conference after the 38 runs defeat by Pakistan in their second game at the World Twenty20 in Guyana.
The game against the team ranked just three places above them, offered Ireland their best hope of victory and a place at the next World Cup, but they conceded 99 runs in overs 9-18 and with only two players reaching double figures with the bat, all they could do was bat out the overs with nine wickets down.
But, reminded that the all-amateur Ireland side were not competing on equal terms with the other nine teams in the tournament, was too much for Delany. “It’s so incredibly frustrating,” she said. “If we were professional, I wonder what score would have been out there today, (so) to lose by 40 runs in a game we believed we could win, it’s very disappointing.
“We came into the game with a lot of confidence and put up a fight but not enough to get us over the line.” But the tournament only gets harder again for the Irish today with their penultimate group game against India this afternoon (3pm).
The teams have never met in an official T20 international before but an ODI in 2012 was reduced to 20 overs by rain and India passed Ireland’s 107-6 for the loss of just one wicket.
Cecelia Joyce was dropped after the first game against Australia after playing 20 ‘dot balls’ in her 27-ball innings but it remains a major problem for the whole team.
Ireland failed to score from 40 of the first 60 balls against Pakistan, leaving them 44-3 after 10 overs and effectively no chance of reaching their target of 140.