Ireland well beaten by New Zealand in final group game
The clash between the tournament’s most consistent teams proved predictably entertaining, but ended with a result that few predicted. In front of a crowd of almost 5,000, India recorded a memorable win over tournament favourites Australia. It was only their fourth ever win against the Aussies in T20Is, on the back of a career-best 83 from 22-year old Smriti Mandhana.
As the tournament said goodbye to the Guyana National Stadium, Ireland gave two of their senior players a guard of honour as they took the field for the last time in international cricket, only to have two more announce their retirements at the end of the game. There were no surprises in the result, as Sophie Devine matched the record for the fastest fifty in ICC Women’s World T20s to give New Zealand an eight-wicket win.
India topped Group B with eight points while Australia finished second with six points. New Zealand (four), Pakistan (two) and Ireland (zero) finished in that order. The last day’s league matches in St Lucia on Sunday will determine the semi-final lineup with England and the Windies fighting it out for the top spot in Group A.
In the semi-finals on 22 November, the top side of Group A will play the second side from Group B and the top side of Group B will play the second side from Group A.
New Zealand v Ireland:
Twin sisters Isobel and Cecelia Joyce joined Clare Shillington and Ciara Metcalfe in retirement at the end of Ireland’s game against New Zealand. On the field, it was Gaby Lewis who impressed before Sophie Devine ended New Zealand’s tournament with some fireworks.
Chasing Ireland’s 79 for nine, Sophie Devine (51) hit the joint fastest-fifty in the tournament and second fastest ever, matching the 21-ball mark that Australia’s Alyssa Healy set earlier this week. The three sixes she hit took the tournament’s tally past 57, setting a record for the most sixes across editions of the ICC Women’s World T20, with five matches still to be played.
Earlier, Lewis hit five fours as she scored a brisk 39, equaling the highest score for Ireland in the ICC Women’s World T20s. She was the only Ireland batter to make an impression though, as off-spinner Leigh Kasperek took three wickets.
New Zealand vice-captain Maddy Green said: “I think probably in Australia in our series Sophie and Suzie had been batting together. And we thought we could potentially lengthen our batting order a little bit (by separating them).
“Anna Peterson has been batting really well in domestic cricket, opening the batting…Unfortunately that didn't come off for her in those first few games.”
Ireland’s Kim Garth said: “There's definitely a lot of tears. You know, Cecelia, Ciara, Shills and Isobel have been four incredible servants of Irish cricket. And I don't think Irish women's cricket will be anywhere near it is today without them.
“They're absolute champions on the field but champions off the field as well. And yeah, we're going to miss them a lot. I think it's also. It is extremely sad that they're retiring. It's going to be a different dynamic without them.”
India v Australia:
Mandhana’s first T20I fifty in 14 innings could not have come at a better time. It helped India to a 48-run win, their first over Australia in ICC Women’s World T20s. The left-hander had a scratchy tournament, but put that behind her in a chanceless and sparkling knock, one that helped India to their highest ever total against Australia. In the process, she also brought up her 1000th T20I run.
Vice-captain Mandhana combined with captain Harmanpreet Kaur, and the two senior batters set the pace, scoring 68 off just 42 balls together, with Harmanpreet scoring 43 of those. The pair hit five fours and three sixes while at the crease, and despite no other batter getting into double figures, the eventual total of 167 for eight proved enough.
Australia had a less than explosive start, and were restricted to 39 for two in the Powerplay, after which wickets fell regularly. Only Ellyse Perry, who also took three wickets, was able to convert her start into a substantial score. But she was left stranded on 39 not out, as the lower order collapsed around her. The Indian spinners shared all nine wickets, four of those caught by Veda Krishnamurthy in the deep.
India’s Jemimah Rodrigues said: “I think it (the win) is important, not just because it's Australia, but for ourselves and our team, because we've got the momentum. So we need to keep that momentum, keep doing the right things, and not focus mainly on the results.
“So I think it has a huge impact on our team and I think we look forward to it, but we’re not get carried away by it and will try to do even better in the semifinals.”
Australia captain Meg Lanning said: “I think we found the fielders a lot. We had too many dot balls and we were playing big shots, which led to wickets. India showed that it was a really good batting wicket if you played good cricket shots.
“We just never got going. (In) The powerplay, we didn't really get off to that flyer.”
Scores in brief:
India defeated Australia by 48 runs at the Guyana National Stadium, Georgetown
India 167-8, 20 overs (Smriti Mandhana 83, Harmanpreet Kaur 43; Ellyse Perry 3-16, Ashleigh Gardener 2-25, Delissa Kimmince 2-42)
Australia: 119-9, 19.4 overs (Ellyse Perry 39 not out, Ashleigh Gardener 20; Anuja Patil 3-15, Radha Yadav 2-13, Deepti Sharma 2-24, Poonam Yadav 2-28)
Player of the Match: Smriti Mandhana
New Zealand defeated Ireland by eight wickets at the Guyana National Stadium, Georgetown
Ireland: 79-9, 20 overs (Gaby Lewis 39; Leigh Kasperek 3-19, Lea Tahuhu 2-17, Amelia Kerr 2-18)
New Zealand: 81-2, 7.3 overs (Sophie Devine 51)
Player of the Match: Sophie Devine
Windies v England, Gros Islet, Saint Lucia (Group A)
South Africa v Bangladesh, Gros Islet, Saint Lucia (Group A)