LAURA DELANY guided her team to the brink of the World Cup qualifiers’ Super Six in Harare with a fine all-round performance as Ireland squeezed past the Netherlands by 29 runs in a game of collapses.
After openers Gaby Lewis (46) and Leah Paul (17) had compiled their second half-century partnership in two games, and Amy Hunter had again been run-out, Ireland slumped to 85-5 requiring Delany’s first intervention.
The Ireland skipper struck 75 from 76 balls, receiving good support from Eimear Richardson (27) but having reached 195-6, with more than 11 overs remaining, the Girls in Green subsided alarmingly to 199 all out.
Delany put a brake on the Netherlands chase, as she conceded 24 runs from 10 overs, and after looking odds-on at 158-3 in the 43rd over, panic set in and with three run-outs and Orla Prendergast taking 4-24 the Dutch were dismissed for 170.
Ireland, who face Sri Lanka in their final group game on Monday, are now certain of a place in next week’s Super Six unless the Dutch pull off a surprise by beating the mighty West Indies, the tournament favourites.