IRELAND Women received an early warning that qualification for the T20 World Cup will not be straightforward when they lost to Thailand at the quadrangular tournament in Holland yesterday.
The Thais are in Ireland’s group at the T20 qualifying tournament, which starts at the end of the month, and they proved that their huge 74 runs victory over Scotland on Thursday was no fluke by restricting Ireland to 50-7 in a game reduced to 10 overs to hold on for a four runs victory.
All four teams, including hosts Netherlands, and Bangladesh will be vying for just two World Cup spots at the qualifiers in Scotland but Thailand have already shown they will be live contenders, especially with their accurate bowling attack.
Laura Delany’s side probably thought they had done enough to make it two wins out of two this week – after beating the Dutch on Thursday – when Thailand scored only 54-3, the game, after rain delayed the start, having been reduced to 14 overs.
However, Ireland’s opening bowler Orla Prendergast fell over in her run-up twice in the first four deliveries and umpires halted the game for a further 35 minutes to allow the area to dry.
Thailand scored eight from the prolonged first over but had to wait until the last of their 10 overs to better that, 11 runs coming from the final six balls.
But Ireland’s batting never got going. After four overs they were 10-2 and when Shauna Kavanagh, the only batter to get into double figures, was adjudged caught behind, for 12, Ireland were only 28-4 in the eighth over.
They still needed 18 off the last over and although they were presented with three wides from the first ball, Una Raymond-Hoey and Rebecca Stokell were both caught in the space of three balls and 10 runs off the last two balls proved a hit too far.
Ireland play Scotland today before facing all three teams again next week. The Thailand revenge fixture is on Tuesday.
SCORES – Deventer: Thailand 54-3 Ireland 50-7 (N Boochatham 3-18). Thailand Women won by 4 runs.